The federal government is investing $10 million in a take-home naloxone (THN) pilot in NSW, South Australia and Western Australia.
Government figures show three people die every day in Australia from opioid related use. More than 110,000 Australians are struggling with opioid dependence and 64 per cent of drug induced deaths in 2018 involved opioids.
Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It can be injected or delivered through a nasal spray and is available in all states and territories with a prescription, or over the counter from a pharmacy for a fee.
From this Sunday (December 1), the THN pilot is aimed at providing people who may be at risk of an opioid overdose, or are likely to witness an overdose, with free and easy access to naloxone. Each participating state will identify where naloxone will be available. Sites could include community and hospital-based pharmacies, alcohol and drug treatment centres, needle and syringe programs or other agreed non-pharmacy settings.
The THN pilot will be delivered in conjunction with the various THN programs now operating in the participating states and provides a great opportunity to increase access to naloxone for people at risk.
For more information, including how to register to participate in the THN pilot, visit the department’s THN pilot website here.