Intended for healthcare professionals


Pilot scheme shows that giving naloxone to families of drug users would save lives

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 25 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5445
  1. Richard Hurley


A pilot scheme has shown that providing family and friends with training and the drug naloxone seems to reduce deaths from overdose among heroin users and other opioids misusers, says the English National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, a special health authority of the NHS.

During the pilot scheme 20 users overdosed, and carers gave naloxone to 18. All the users survived. Family members, partners, or other drug users are often first to find a user who has overdosed.

“If they can be trained in how to manage such an emergency and keep the victim alive while waiting for the ambulance, potentially hundreds of lives could be saved in the UK every …

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