Police Scotland to begin roll-out of naloxone amid drugs death crisis

Chief constable Iain Livingstone announced in February more than 12,000 officers will be equipped with the life saving treatment.

Police Scotland to begin roll-out of lifesaving naloxone nasal spray amid drugs death crisis STV News

The police roll-out of a lifesaving nasal spray which can help treat people who have overdosed has begun in Scotland.

In February, chief constable Iain Livingstone announced more than 12,000 officers would be trained and equipped with naloxone following successful trial runs in Dundee, Falkirk, Glasgow, Stirling and Caithness.

During the trial, the kits helped provide first aid 62 times to people who had overdosed on opioids such as heroin.

The official roll-out of the drug began on International Overdose Awareness Day, with officers in Paisley, Greenock and Shetland receiving their kits on Wednesday.

In a Scottish first, around 150 pouches are being distributed in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde and Highland and Islands Divisions, meaning nearly 1,000 officers will have the additional tool to hand day-to-day.

The officers will undertake online training before beginning to carry the first aid equipment as they go about their duties.

Naloxone works by reversing the respiratory suppression caused by opioids and opiates and can buy the casualty critical minutes until ambulance clinicians arrive on scene.

Police Scotland piloted the carriage and use of the drug by its officers last year as part of a public health approach to addressing the country’s drug death rates.

It comes after it was announced in July that Scotland’s drug deaths were the second highest on record despite a small decrease in numbers.

1,330 people lost their lives to drug misuse in 2021, according to latest figures published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) – just nine fewer than the previous year.

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