Ambulance service hands out 1000 naloxone kits to help save lives

The kits reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Ambulance service hands out 1000 naloxone kits to help save lives STV News

The Scottish Ambulance Service has distributed 1000 kits of the overdose-reversing medication naloxone across Scotland.

It comes after the launch of a naloxone training programme last year, with a target being set of the distribution of 1000 of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits across the country by the service.

The kits reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, with 75% of ambulance crews now trained to give the kits to people at risk of a non-fatal overdose or potential overdose.

They have been distributed by ambulance clinicians to those at risk and their families, and can be used at any future overdose while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. 

They can be provided to any family, friends, or service workers who may have to administer naloxone in future.

The Scottish Government has pledged to tackle drugs deaths in Scotland, with figures published in July of last year showing a record 1339 people in the country died from the effects of drugs during 2020.

Gary Rutherford, patient safety manager at the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “We’re proud to have reached our target of distributing 1000 naloxone kits in a year.

“This targeted distribution by ambulance crews is an evidence-based intervention that saves lives by ensuring that Take Home Naloxone gets into the hands of those who need it the most.  

“Over the past year, our three clinical effectiveness leads for drug harm reduction have made a huge difference to drug support within the service and together we can ensure we’re focused on saving lives and positively improving health and wellbeing across Scotland.” 

Minister for drugs policy Angela Constance explained that the medication is one of a “wide range” of measures being used to address the drugs crisis.

“I am delighted to hear that staff at the Scottish Ambulance Service have distributed 1000 naloxone kits, each of which might be used to save a life,” she said.

“I want to thank all of those involved for the amazing work they have done in this area.

“Naloxone is one of a wide range of measures being used to address the public health emergency of drugs deaths but it plays an important role and allows those supplying the kits to connect people who use drugs and their families with appropriate local services.”