Scottish Drugs Forum’s National Naloxone Programme has held an awards ceremony to mark the launch of the UK’s first Naloxone Peer Training and Supply Programme and to celebrate the achievements of the volunteers.
The initiative has seen a number of existing volunteers within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Naloxone Peer Volunteers Group receive additional training that will allow them to directly supply naloxone kits to eligible individuals they have trained.
In 2015, new regulations regarding the supply of naloxone, means that people employed or engaged in the provision of drug treatment services can provide it to anyone who may witness an overdose without the need for a prescription. This important change means that in addition to nurses and pharmacists, other people undertaking roles within drug treatment services can also make supplies of naloxone, such as volunteers.
It is hoped that the volunteers will contribute to increasing the availability of naloxone within the community so that it is more likely to be present when an overdose occurs, and the project will also provide additional skills and opportunities for the volunteers themselves.
The award ceremony congratulated peers for their dedication and support, providing them with a certificate and award, and thanked staff, who have worked tirelessly for over a year to get the programme to this stage.
The newly established group will first target Recovery Communities in Glasgow then move to supported accommodations, residential and community programmes as well as aiming to reach people at risk in the streets of Glasgow who may be homeless or roofless and not currently engaged with services. Through adding the supply element to the current Peer Naloxone Training, the model aims to be more effective in reaching these at-risk populations.
The Peer Supply Model will be evaluated and if deemed a success, the model will be implemented in other Health Boards across Scotland.
Before the event finished, one newly trained volunteer said: “I just can’t wait to get out there and start saving lives.” Scottish Drugs Forum wishes all the volunteers good luck in their new roles and thanks them for their commitment.