Awareness of and attitudes to naloxone (Narcan) among a sample of people who inject drugs in Melbourne, 2013

image - DTC 2013 VIC IDRS Square
Author: Shelley Cogger, Paul Dietze

Resource Type: Posters

  • Fatal and non-fatal opioid overdose (OD) is a serious public health issue. On average, paramedics in Melbourne reverse three non-fatal heroin ODs each day with naloxone (the opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of heroin overdose).
  • Arguments for increasing naloxone availability to people who inject drugs (PWID) and their peers and families, commonly referred to as ‘take-home’ naloxone (THN) programs, were first made in the 1990s. THN programs have been implemented successfully in many countries around the world including Germany, England, and the USA.
  • Previous research has shown that most Australian PWID have positive attitudes to THN and are willing to participate in related training. Despite some confusion remaining around appropriate first-aid responses to opioid OD, improvements in responses to heroin OD by PWID in Melbourne have also been found over time.
  • In 2012, the I-ENAACT program commenced in the ACT—the first THN program implemented in Australia. Some other jurisdictions quickly followed suit, but THN for PWID in Victoria finally became available in August 2013.
  • We describe awareness of and attitudes towards THN among the 2013 Victorian Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) sample (N=150).