Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families) has issued 348 naloxone kits in its first year of running its online ‘click and deliver’ service. People order online and receive their lifesaving kit in the post a few days later.
Naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioid drugs like heroin, methadone, opium, codeine, morphine and buprenorphine.
The Covid-19 pandemic restricted drug treatment services’ ability to supply naloxone to at-risk individuals. Because of this, the Lord Advocate agreed to expand the number of services able to distribute naloxone kits to anyone who may be supporting someone at risk of, or likely to witness, an opioid-related overdose.
Scottish Drugs Forum approached us and asked if we were interested in running a new take-home naloxone service. It is a collective societal responsibility to reduce the number of drug-related deaths and if this provision could support that then we would make it happen. Our service was up and running within two weeks and went live in May 2020.
Our data shows the 348 naloxone kits issued to date have gone to 129 families and friends, 48 to people who use drugs and 158 to professionals.
Professionals here are individuals who want to carry a kit during the execution of their work or volunteer role. Examples include Security Guard, Taxi Driver, Foodbank Volunteers, Covid Community Responders, Homeless Workers or Street Team Volunteers, Faith Leaders, Refuse Collectors, and Mental Health Peer Volunteers to name a few.
One individual who requested a kit had provided CPR to a person who overdosed in the street the previous week. They did not know about naloxone until the ambulance arrived. They researched naloxone online and found our service. They are now more prepared should they need to provide life-saving support to another person.
Most of the people coming to our service are requesting their first-ever supply of naloxone which means we are getting naloxone into the hands of people who never before had that opportunity to save a life.
We also have repeat requesters who can rely on our service. A family member from Edinburgh has had two kits issued. They requested a kit as they had used their previous one on their loved one. We also have people who use drugs requesting repeat kits as their previous ones were used on another person.
Suzie Gallagher, Helpline Development Officer says:
‘It’s been a tough year for everybody. When looking at our statistics and the impact our naloxone supply has had, we are proud of our one of a kind service for Scotland. Our service has been provided by one staff member on top of their busy day to day job managing our National Helpline. We are asked how did we set up such an accessible service? The simple answer is we worked in partnership with Scottish Drugs Forum who provided guidance and sourced naloxone kits for us. With the addition of our online form and commitment from the team member managing the service, it was seamless. It really is that simple. The more complicated you make it, the more barriers you are putting in place for people to access a lifesaving intervention.’
Our Click and Deliver service is available at https://www.sfad.org.uk/support-services/take-home-naloxone