Policy actions  3 of 4

Naloxone provision

Drug-related deaths leave a devastating impact on individuals, families and the wider community.

Drugs such as heroin and methadone are called opioid drugs. Naloxone is a medicine that can temporarily reverse the effect of opioids if somebody overdoses.

Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce a national naloxone programme, empowering individuals, families, friends and communities to reverse an opiate overdose. We funded this £1 million programme, over 5 years from 2011 to 2016. Over forty six thousand potentially lifesaving take-home naloxone kits have been supplied between 2011-2012 and 2017-2018.

We continue to support the national provision of naloxone, and since the end of the 5 year programme, we have supported the embedding of naloxone provision in local NHS Health Board areas.  

We are working closely with local partners to ensure naloxone remains a priority and is accessible for those who most need it. Through our funding to the Scottish Drugs Forum, we continue to support efforts to improve the provision of naloxone, including the following:

  • developing peer training programmes and work to improve availability of naloxone across a range of services such as the Police and the Prison Service  
  • continued support to Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and Health Boards in the development of their local programmes
  • training, information and awareness materials
  • a national monitoring and evaluation programme based at the Information Services Division of National Services Scotland

Report Illicit Drugs Reaction

The Reporting Illicit Drug Reactions website is a data collecting system for adverse reactions and harms related to New Psychoactive Substances as well as other illegal drugs.

The website can be used by front line health workers who have contact with drug users to submit information for collection and analysis.

The aim is to help improve clinical understanding of emerging drug harms and to reduce the length of time between the emergence of drug-related health harm and the dissemination of effective treatment responses.

The project is co-ordinated by Public Health England and delivered by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.