Home > Naloxone rescue kits empowering peers of drug users to ‘save lives’ in Scotland.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2018) Naloxone rescue kits empowering peers of drug users to ‘save lives’ in Scotland. Drug and Alcohol Findings Research Analysis, (29 November 2018),

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External website: https://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=McAuley_A_...

“Once I’d done it once it was like writing your name”: Lived experience of take-home naloxone administration by people who inject drugs.
McAuley A., Munro A., Taylor A. International Journal of Drug Policy: 2018, 58, p. 46–54.

Important implications for overdose prevention policy and practice in Scotland and the UK from this qualitative study which provides the first detailed insights into how people who inject drugs experience administering naloxone rescue kits.

Summary For over 20 years supply of the overdose antidote naloxone for administration by other people who use drugs has been promoted as a means of preventing opioid-related deaths. Scotland has had a national naloxone programme since 2011, which has increased the supply of naloxone, and generated a considerable body of evidence that it can save lives (1 2 3). However, less is known about the lived experiences of people who inject drugs with administering naloxone, despite the potential for this to inform policymakers’ decisions about the adoption of ‘take-home naloxone’ programmes in nations where none yet exist, as well as in nations where national programmes do exist but may require modification in order to achieve the best results.

The featured study involved face-to-face interviews with eight people. An additional interview was conducted but the data was excluded from the final analysis because the person had shown signs of intoxication, and the researchers were concerned of the ethical implications of including their story. known to have used take-home naloxone in an overdose situation. Participants were recruited from a harm reduction service in a large urban area in Scotland. Half had been using opioids for over 10 years, and half were still injecting drugs at the time of the interview, though all were injecting at the time of the overdose event when they used naloxone. Five had previously overdosed.

One of the overarching findings was that responding to an overdose administering take-home naloxone was challenging for those involved – but despite this, participants appeared to remain committed to using naloxone in their communities, with some even feeling obligated to intervene in future overdoses……..

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