Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped because of overdosing on heroin or prescription opioid pain medications. There has been a big push recently for treatment services to provide Naloxone to all opioid users initially but eventually all service users of drug treatment services.
Whilst patients are not able to save their own lives with Naloxone, the more people trained and carrying a kit increases the chances of saving the life of an addict in trouble – in turn giving them the opportunity to access treatment in the future.
Broadway Lodge is encouraging referrers to train and provide their clients with naloxone. Clients leaving the programme prior to the end of their planned treatment period who are deemed vulnerable will be trained in the use of Naloxone.
Whilst we are not expecting people to relapse or to misuse substances, by giving them Naloxone we are encouraging a healthy harm reduction strategy that keeps people alive.