28th May 2021
Over a year ago at a media briefing in Edinburgh, the former Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that “the Lord Advocate has confirmed that – for the duration of this crisis – it would not be in the public interest to prosecute any individual – working for a service registered with the Scottish Government – who supplies naloxone in an emergency, to save a life”.
This development aimed to increase the distribution of naloxone kits by relaxing the rules around who can supply the life-saving medication. It remains the case that anyone can legally administer naloxone, to anyone, for the purpose of responding to a suspected opiate-related overdose.
One of the many services that has benefitted from this Lord Advocate guidance is Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs (Scottish Families). SDF approached Scottish Families to propose the idea of a new naloxone distribution service and were met with a very enthusiastic response to take this forward. The ‘Click and Deliver’ service was promptly up and running and has now been supplying kits across the country for a whole year.
This week, Scottish Families announced that in the first year of running the service, they have issued 348 naloxone kits. This number comes from their recently released One Year On report which provides data and further information about the service, highlighting how far reaching this service is in terms of geography and the various groups of people who have ordered kits.
Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator (drug death prevention) at SDF, said “This is a truly remarkable service that was introduced with a ‘can do’ attitude and some excellent partnership working. This service provides a unique avenue for people from across Scotland to access naloxone kits in a discreet way, when they may have barriers or reservations about attending a drug service or a pharmacy. We firmly believe this service has proven that a permanent regulatory change is required.”
The UK Dept of Health and Social Care is due to launch a consultation related to the potential amendment of UK regulations, which would widen access to naloxone by increasing the range of service legally permitted to supply it.