The Public Health Minister has noted in a recent debate in the Scottish Parliament that it would be beneficial for Police Scotland’s officers to carry naloxone.
Naloxone is a medication that temporarily reverses the effects of an opiate overdose, saving precious time until emergency services arrive.
The Minister, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, shared his backing for the idea on the 12th of December when answering a question from John Finnie MSP, who stated that given police officers are often the first on the scene of drug overdose incidents, would the Minister be able to discuss the implementation of officers routinely carrying naloxone?
The Public Health Minister responded:
“He is absolutely right to say that, across Scotland, and probably particularly in rural areas, police will be the first people to come across someone who is experiencing an overdose. I know that discussions about the suggestion that Mr Finnie makes are on-going and that positive noises have been made in that regard. I hope that there will be a positive announcement on that issue soon.
“Scotland was ahead of the curve in making naloxone routinely available. I have personally undergone the training that is required to administer naloxone, as have two members of my office staff. We have a naloxone kit in the office, which is in the town centre in Dundee. I encourage anyone else who thinks that their office is in a location where such a kit might be useful to consider speaking to service managers to see whether that training could be extended to them as well. However, the point that the member makes about the police is a good one.”
SDF is the national lead for the Scottish National Naloxone Programme and has been carrying out training sessions with various Police Scotland Officers over the last year – although it is not currently routine that officers carry naloxone.