On 2nd Febuary 2012 Danny Morris gave a presentation on the lifesaving medication Naloxone. This drug that can be used to reverse the effects of opitate overdose and is being distributed by a number of areas around the UK and internationally to heroin users and their families.
The session was attended by 40-50 people and there was lively discussion on the day. The main point of discussion was around the possibility (or not) that people's behaviour could become more risky. The group was split three ways with the following opinions:
- That it would make behaviour more risky, and so should be seen as a negative intervention
- That behaviour may be more risky but, still thought that it was worth using this as an overdose intervention
- That there is no evidence that it increases risk behaviour and that there is evidence that it doesn't increase risk
On this last point, Seal et al. "...observed a decline in heroin use in participants enrolled in their naloxone (and resuscitation) intervention in San Francisco, with a simultaneous increase in overdose prevention knowledge."
Cost was not raised as a major issue, although some providers were worried that they would have to bear the cost of training people in naloxone's use, but the local DAAT reassured them that it would cover these costs.
We would like to thank Gary Rickwood, Steve Gavin and Natasha Smith from NHS Wirral , everyone who came and the staff and volunteers at the Quays Project for helping make this event possible.