4500 people sign up to learn how to use naloxone in Scotland

Almost 4,500 people have signed up to learn how to save someone’s life in the event of an opioid overdose.

A nationwide awareness campaign, launched in August last year, encouraged the public to go to the ‘Stop The Deaths’ website to learn how to recognise the signs of a drug overdose, receive training in the use of the life-saving medication naloxone and get a free naloxone kit.

The joint initiative by the Scottish Government and Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) used TV and radio adverts and billboards at transport hubs and shopping centres to promote the message. While the campaign has finished, people can still register their interest in receiving training and getting a kit.

Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said:

“The response to this joint initiative with Scottish Drugs Forum is really encouraging and it emphasises how everyone can get involved in learning how to save a life.

“The campaign raised awareness of how to respond to an overdose and provide an early intervention which could save a life and is, therefore, a vital part of the national mission on the drug deaths crisis.

“We hope that the campaign has also helped reduce the stigmatisation of people at risk of overdose and people with a drug problem more broadly.

“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 I hope as many people as possible will visit the “Stop The Deaths” website to find out more.”

Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator for Drug Death Prevention at Scottish Drugs Forum, said:

“The ‘How to Save a Life’ campaign has demonstrated that people in Scotland are keen to assist efforts to prevent drug deaths.

“Naloxone is an emergency treatment that can help save someone’s life and it is essential that people are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to provide help to someone experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

“Taxi drivers may also find themselves in this position and we are grateful to Glasgow Taxis for helping to share this important message.”

Glasgow Taxis chairman Dougie MacPherson said:

“Glasgow Taxis is proud to support this very important initiative. 

“On a personal level, during the 1980s – before entering the taxi trade – I worked in the north of Glasgow in some of the city’s worst-affected areas like Possilpark.

“Heroin and HIV destroyed a generation back then and it left an indelible impression on those who experienced it including me.

“The current drug death figures serve as a stark reminder that the problem has not gone away and any way of reducing the number of deaths is worth supporting.”

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PIP editor

A pharmacist led training provider.