Scottish National Naloxone Programme a benchmark of success

The Scottish National Naloxone Programme has been recognised in a new toolkit for countries and organisations who hope to implement a Take-Home Naloxone (THN) programme.

The Improving Outcomes in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (IOTOD) toolkit contains guidance and resources on how to set up a THN programme, in order to reduce overdoses and save lives.

Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of opiate overdose, buying important time until medical assistance arrives.

The IOTOD-THN toolkit was created in collaboration with three partner organisations that coordinate successful THN programmes: Scottish Drugs Forum, Antidote Denmark and the Red Cross (on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia).

Alongside a multitude of resources, three visual case studies highlight the successful THN programmes and illustrate naloxone distribution from different settings: prison facilities, harm reduction centres and the open drug scene.

The videos allow a unique insight into the programmes’ history and current management, with advice and stories from the individuals who make THN programmes in their communities a reality.

One of the initiatives of the Scottish National Naloxone Programme, co-ordinated by Scottish Drugs Forum, is to distribute naloxone and provide overdose training to people with a history of drug use upon their release from prison, as their reduced tolerance during this timeframe increases their risk of overdosing.

Click here to view the video about the National Naloxone Programme’s naloxone upon-release initiative

Its implementation has led to a significant reduction in opioid overdose deaths following prison release in Scotland, and there is work to expand the programme in other settings.