Nov 9 2011 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
DRUG users across Forth Valley are being urged to pick up a new personal medication, which is claimed could save their lives.
The medication, called Naloxone, can reverse the effects of an overdose and is contained in a pocket-sized kit. It is hoped it will be used to stave off a potentially lethal overdose until paramedics appear on the scene.
Elaine Lawlor, Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership co-ordinator, said: “The risk of drug users dying from a drug-related overdose is very high and can have devastating effects on families and communities.
“This medication is easy to administer and full training is provided to family, friends and carers on how to use it. It could simply be a life-saver.”
Norrie Moane, Operations Manager for Signpost Recovery, added: “Naloxone has the potential to reduce drug-related deaths in Forth Valley and I would urge anyone with a drug problem to get in touch with us. There is no stigma attached to asking for something which could save your life.”
An NHS Forth Valley spokesperson said: “In 2010 there were 15 drug related deaths in Forth Valley. Although Naloxone is the latest development in drug addiction support in Forth Valley, the alcohol and drug partnerships offer a wide range of help to those affected. This includes supporting families affected by substance misuse, harm reduction advice, the provision of injecting equipment, substitute prescribing, detoxification and community rehabilitation.
“The partnerships are keen that people know how to recognise the early symptoms of an overdose. Danger signs can include loud snoring, lips turning blue and shallow breathing. Families are often unaware of these signs; having a supply of Naloxone at hand is vital if the number of drug-related deaths is to be reduced.”
To access Naloxone or seek support for addictions telephone 0845 673 1774 or email@example.com.