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Life-saving medication saves opioid overdoses

The Forward Trust prison services have helped prevent fatal overdoses by providing newly released prisoners with life saving medication.

The number of drug-related deaths in England and Wales is at an all-time high, with 3,756 deaths in 2017. 53% of these deaths involved an opioid. Those who are released from prison are at the highest risk of overdose and drug-related death in the first few weeks following release.

Naloxone is an effective, cheap and easy to administer drug that can save lives by reversing the reduced breathing rate caused by an opioid overdose and thus preventing death.

This new process was first implemented in HMP Lewes, where it had a positive effect on uptake of Naloxone kits by opioid users – with an average of 53% being released with Take Home Naloxone.

Forward’s Chief Executive, Mike Trace, explained:

We have made great progress in the prisons where we provide clinical services and have plans to expand our success further to improve Naloxone uptake rates. The better we get at putting these Naloxone packs in the right hands, the greater the likelihood that we can save lives.

Image credit: Forward Trust