Experts on heroin use are concerned that drug users and their families in England are being denied access to a life-saving medicine: naloxone, an antidote to heroin and other opioid overdoses.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that opioid overdose deaths in England rose by 32% in 2013. Although London had the lowest overall drug misuse mortality rate in England in 2013 – at 23 deaths per million population – this represents a significant increase from the 2012 figure, which stood at 19.1 per million population. The number of London ambulance callouts responding to heroin overdose has also increased markedly from 229 in 2012 to 395 in 2014. In response to the rise in the number of opioid overdoses, the newly formed Naloxone Action Group England (NAG England) are calling for urgent action to ensure wider availability of naloxone in England. Continue reading