About this release

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

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 2023/24 Quarter 3 (1 October 2023 to 31 December 2023):

  • 7,589 Take-Home Naloxone (THN) kits were issued.
  • 6,066 THN kits were issued by services based in the community.
    • Community THN supplies included 1,402 kits issued by non-drug treatment services. Of these, 64% (894) were supplied by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (SFAD).
  • 471 kits were issued by prisons in Scotland.
  • 801 kits were dispensed by community pharmacies.
  • 211 THN kits were provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service.
  • A total of 336 kits were supplied by peers (141 in the community and 195 in prisons).

At the end of 2023/24 Quarter 3, the 'reach' of the NNP (percentage of people at risk of opioid overdose who have been supplied with THN) was estimated to be 74.7%, an increase of 1.5 percentage points compared to 2023/24 Quarter 2 (73.2%).

Image caption Number of Take-Home Naloxone kits supplied by financial year and quarter


The overall aim of Scotland’s NNP 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 and for a definition of 'reach', see Appendix 1 in the National Naloxone Programme Scotland Official Statistics report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 22 October 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Gordon Hunt at phs.drugsteam@phs.scot.

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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: 07 June 2024
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