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Availability of antidote to heroin-related overdoses welcomed

The HSE has confirmed that the drug will be available on prescription from the end of this week  as part of an initiative aimed at reducing drug-related deaths and near-fatal drug poisonings.

Naloxone is an antidote used to reverse the effects of opioid drugs like heroin, morphine and methadone if someone overdoses.

The HSE is currently undertaking a demonstration project to assess and evaluate the suitability and impact of using a prefilled Naloxone injection. The project involves 600 opiate users receiving take-home naloxone on prescription.

“This project could make an enormous difference when it comes to reducing drug-related deaths,” said Minister Varadkar.

“Research shows that providing increased access to naloxone for people likely to witness an overdose, such as the family, case workers and friends of a drug user, is an effective way of reducing overdose deaths.

“I want to thank all those involved, including the families of the drug users and the voluntary and statutory addiction services, who have worked together to get this important initiative off the ground.”

  1. dr cathal ó súilliobháin on May 26, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    This is a positive step. however one of the most effective methods of reducing overdose deaths in opiate users is the provision of easily accessed methadone maintaince programs. Sadly our health services have failed to do this in many areas of the country. This, i believe, is the root cause of ireland being third in Europe in drug related deaths. The recent spike in IVDU related HIV positive cases in Ireland is another even more alarminmg indication of our failure to provide this proven intervention.

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