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 (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.

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 4 (1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022):

  • 6,552 Take-Home Naloxone (THN) kits were issued.
  • 4,713 THN kits were issued by services based in the community.
  • Community THN supplies included 1,165 kits issued by non-drug treatment services. Of these, 91% (1,055) were supplied by Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs (SFAD).
  • 379 kits were issued by prisons in Scotland.
  • 1,098 kits were dispensed by community pharmacies.
  • 329 THN kits were provided by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

 

At the end of 2021/22 Quarter 4, the 'reach' of the NNP (percentage of people at risk of opioid overdose who have been supplied with THN) was estimated to be 64.7% – an increase of 1.3 percentage points compared to 2021/22 Quarter 3 (63.4%).

A total of 28,852 THN kits were supplied in financial year 2021/22, the highest annual total since the beginning of the NNP.

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

Background

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 Annual Report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 6 December 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: 07 October 2022
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