Schemes to make naloxone more available to prevent overdose deaths are being implemented around the world, according to an editorial in the British Medical Journal. While more reports of lives saved are emerging, research on the drug’s impact on the number of deaths from overdose is scarce, say the authors.
1/ Any patient known to be at high risk of death from overdose should carry emergency naloxone.
2/ Naloxone needs to be available to families and peers, police officers and firefighters.
3/ Homeless shelters and other sites in which people are at high risk for overdose should have naloxone.
4/ Further studies need to be done for optimal dose, comparative routes of administration, and exploration of better mechanisms for wider use of naloxone.
In addition, new World Health Organization guidance issued this week is now recommending that:
5/ Patients, families and other non-medical personnel who could come into contact with heroin addicts should carry naloxone.
6/ First responders should receive training in emergency resuscitation after an opioid overdose, including giving naloxone.
Read “Take-home emergency naloxone to prevent deaths from heroin overdose: Now enough experience to justify it” in the BMJ here.