Naloxone, an emergency antidote for overdoses caused by heroin and other opiates or opioids such as methadone, morphine, and fentanyl, has been used by Cambridgeshire police to help seven overdose victims in Cambridge and four in Peterborough.
First introduced to some of the Cambridgeshire force’s neighbourhood officers in April 2021, it is now being rolled out to police officers in Huntingdonshire. It is also used in Fenland.
Supt Laura Hunt said naloxone spray would also be used by neighbourhood teams in East and South Cambridgeshire if there is evidence to support its use in those areas.
The spray, which is applied through the nose, uses Naloxone to tackle the main life-threatening effect of heroin and other opiates which can slow down and stop breathing. Naloxone blocks this effect and reverses the breathing difficulties.
11 uses in Cambridgeshire where police have used Naloxone are:
- 1 May 2021 – a man in a Cambridge park.
- 16 July 2021 – a man in the Queensgate Bus Station, Peterborough.
- 6 September 2021 – a man in the street in Peterborough city centre.
- 23 November 2021 – a man in Peterborough.
- 3 February 2022 – a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
- 5 March 2022 – a man in a Cambridge night shelter.
- 29 March 2022 – a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
- 4 November 2022 – a man in a Peterborough car park.
- 25 November 2022 – a man found in the street in Cambridge.
- 11 June 2023 – a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
- 5 September 2023 – a man in Peterborough city centre.
Supt Hunt said: “One of the main functions of the police is the protection and preservation of life.
“With rates of opioid-related deaths in Britain the highest in Europe, and the national 10-year drug strategy – From Harm to Hope – calling for more priority to be given to the expansion of naloxone provision, I am delighted the force is at the forefront of this harm reduction work.
“A recent national evaluation found there were 300 successful instances across Britain of officers using naloxone, and within Cambridgeshire 11 so it is a great example of protecting and preserving life.”
Jyoti Atri, director of public health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “I am so pleased that through our partnership with the police we’ve been able to prevent deaths from opioid overdose.
“Naloxone is a vital lifeline to users who have overdosed on heroin, and increasing access to it is an essential part of our local approach to reducing drug-related deaths.
“We are also working with the police to enable naloxone kits to be distributed to drug users at police custody suites.”
There are also plans afoot to issue them to the force’s mental health cars with the kits funded by public health.
Read more here: https://naloxone.org.uk/
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