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).