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Naloxone is a drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.

The national 'Take Home Naloxone Programme' provides Naloxone to those thought to be at risk of opiate overdose, following training.

This training is also available to family, friends, carers, partners and other people who are likely to be in the vicinity if an overdose occurs. This drug has been available in Wales since 2009 in both community and prison settings.

Between 2009 and 2013, 2130 take home Naloxone kits have been distributed in Wales. 215 kits have been used so far to reverse the effect of opiate overdoses.

Naloxone pilot schemes

Several pilot schemes are currently running to ensure a wide distribution of Naloxone in a further attempt to reduce drug related death:

  • A feasibility study for the distribution of Naloxone via paramedics commenced in Cardiff & Vale in January 2013. This study will continue until May 2014.  To date 17 kits have been distributed by paramedics at the scene of overdose, with 1 kit being used to reverse the effect of overdose.
  • A pilot within the University of Wales Accident and Emergency Department commenced in April 2013 whereby those at risk of overdose will be given take home Naloxone. All nursing staff have been trained.  No kits have been distributed to date.
  • A pilot within the custody suite in Llanelli has started, whereby those at risk of overdose will be given take home Naloxone on release from custody. This is currently up and running but no kits have been distributed to date.

For further information on the Naloxone scheme please visit Naloxone saves lives (external link).