Naloxone – Fighting against death from overdose

As part of International Overdose Awareness Day, we are going to have a deep dive into all things Naloxone; the number one tool for preventing death from opiate overdoses.

So what is Naloxone?

Naloxone is an emergency medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It is a vital tool in the fight against deaths from substance abuse. Opioids are so dangerous because they have a powerful effect on the respiratory system. When taken in high doses they can completely suppress the breathing leading to death from asphyxiation. This is known as respiratory depression.

How does it work?

Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist medication. What this means is that the medication rapidly binds to the opioid receptors in the brain meaning that opioids, such as heroin, cannot trigger the receptors. This can completely reverse the effects of an opioid overdose for a short period of time potentially saving a life or in severe cases giving a person enough time for emergency services to arrive and give them urgent emergency care.

To promote awareness of the power that Naloxone has to save lives in an overdose situation we have put together this series of interviews with people who have direct experience with Naloxone.

Rich’s Story

First up Rich details his own experience with Naloxone. He recounts a story of when a friend started overdosing at his flat and through quick thinking and the equipment provided by BDP he managed to successfully administer Naloxone and kept his friend alive long enough for the emergency services to arrive.

Rebecca’s Story

Rebecca works for St Mungos and received Naloxone training and equipment form us as part of her induction into her role. In this interview, she describes how she had to put her training into practice when she came across a member of the public overdosing in Bristol. She describes the events of the day and how invaluable the training she received was.

Lee’s Story

Lee is the final interview in the series and in his video he describes a time Naloxone was actually administered to him when he overdosed after a prolonged period of abstinence. Lee reflects on the day that it happened and also gives his thoughts regarding having and knowing how to use Naloxone.

What we do

At BDP we are champions of the power that Naloxone has in fighting death from overdose. Every individual that comes to use our needle exchange service is offered naloxone equipment and training. In the past two years alone we have distributed over 500 kits through our needle exchange alone.

Find out more about Naloxone and how to access it here.

3 minute read

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