About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland presents information on the number of take-home naloxone kits issued by the National Naloxone Programme in Scotland. Figures are presented separately for kits issued from community outlets, kits issued in prisons at the point of prisoner release, kits dispensed via community prescription, and kits issued by Scottish Ambulance Service.

Accidental overdose is a common cause of death among users of heroin, morphine and similar drugs, which are referred to as opioids. Naloxone is a drug which reverses the effects of a potentially fatal overdose with these drugs.

Main points

During 2021/22 Quarter 2 (1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021):

  • 7,219 Take-Home Naloxone (THN) kits were issued.
Image caption Number of Take Home Naloxone kits supplied by financial year and quarter
  • 5,640 THN kits were issued by services based in the community.
    • Community THN supplies included 1,552 kits issued by non-drug treatment services. Ninety per cent (1,392) of these were supplied by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs.
  • 399 kits were issued by prisons in Scotland.
  • 862 kits were dispensed by community pharmacies.
  • 295 THN kits were provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

At the end of 2021/22 Quarter 2, the reach of the National Naloxone Programme was estimated to be 61.2% – an increase of around 2 percentage points compared to 2021/22 Quarter 1 (59.3%).

Background

The overall aim of Scotland’s National Naloxone Programme is to prevent fatal opioid overdoses. Administration of naloxone provides time for emergency services to arrive and for further treatment to be given. Following suitable training, THN kits are issued to people at risk of opioid overdose, their friends and family and service workers in order to help prevent overdose deaths. For more information on the background of the NNP, see Appendix 1 in the National Naloxone Programme Scotland Annual Report.

Reach’ is defined as the proportion of a population ‘at risk’ of a specific harm (i.e. opioid overdose) who have been the subject of a treatment or intervention (i.e. been supplied with THN). In the context of THN, this is done by counting ‘first’ supplies to people at risk of opioid overdose. For a full description of the methodology used, see the National Naloxone Programme Scotland Annual Report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be June 2022.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 13 June 2022
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