23 February 2022
More than 20 drivers for Glasgow Taxis have applied to receive and carry naloxone as part of the nationwide initiative to reduce drug deaths.
Drivers who apply to carry the opioid overdose reversal medication will have it in their cabs as they complete their journeys in and around the city.
The taxi firm were one of the first to take a step forward and show support for this initiative, advertising their advocacy with an emblazoned car that can be seen around the city, carrying the #StopTheDeaths message.
The joint initiative by the Scottish Government and Scottish Drugs Forum has used TV and radio adverts and billboards at transport hubs and shopping centres to promote the message that drug deaths in Scotland are preventable.
Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance said:
“The response to this joint initiative with Scottish Drugs Forum is really encouraging and it emphasises how everyone can get involved in learning how to save a life.
“The initiative raised awareness of how to respond to an overdose and provide an early intervention which could save a life and is therefore a vital part of the national mission on the drug deaths crisis.
“We hope that the campaign has also helped reduce the stigmatisation of people at risk of overdose and people with a drug problem more broadly.
“Naloxone is one of a wide range of measures being used to address the public health emergency of drugs deaths, but it plays an important role and I hope as many people as possible will visit the Stop The Deaths website to find out more.”
More than 4,500 people have signed up to learn how to save someone’s life in the event of an opioid overdose.
Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator for Drug Death Prevention at Scottish Drugs Forum, said:
“The ‘How to Save a Life’ campaign has demonstrated that people in Scotland are keen to assist efforts to prevent drug deaths. Naloxone is an emergency treatment that can help save someone’s life and it is essential that people are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to provide help to someone experiencing a life-threatening overdose.”
Whilst the increasing number of people carrying naloxone is part of a national initiative, reasons for choosing to take part often come from personal experiences.
Dougie McPherson, Chairman of Glasgow Taxis explained:
“During the 80s – before entering the taxi trade – I worked in the north of Glasgow in some of the city’s worst affected areas like Possilpark.
“Heroin and HIV destroyed a generation back then and it left an indelible impression on those who experienced it including me.
“The current drug death figures serve as a stark reminder that the problem has not gone away and any way of reducing the number of deaths is worth supporting.”