Scottish actor Martin Compston is to front a new ad campaign to combat the number of drug deaths in Scotland.
The new ads were launched today on television and online in an effort to promote intervention when someone experiences a drug overdose.
Scots are being encouraged to learn how to spot the signs of an overdose and step in to save lives by using the opioid reversal medication nalaxone.
The campaign encourages the public to order the freely available medication which can buy time for those experiencing an overdose before emergency crews arrive.
Opioids, which include drugs like heroin, were implicated in 90% of Scotland’s 1,339 drug related deaths in 2020.
The ads are the latest phase in a national campaign under the banner We Can Prevent Drug Deaths, and will return until November.
Voiced by Scottish actor Martin Compston, the campaign is backed up by a dedicated website where people can learn more about recognising overdoses and what to do, as well as accessing further information on naloxone and how it can be ordered.
David Liddell, CEO, of Scottish Drugs Forum said the significant campaign was not online about preventing drug deaths but also tackling the stigma associated with people who have a drug problem.
He added: “The public health emergency around drug related deaths in Scotland has continued partly because of that stigma.
“The investment in this high-profile campaign by government is a clear indicator of a change in public attitudes and the government has shown leadership on this.
“SDF have been delighted to shape this campaign and to deliver it across Scotland.”
Kirsten Horsburgh Strategic Co-ordinator in Drug Death Prevention at Scottish Drugs Forum says: “We are delighted to have this national campaign that promotes practical steps anyone can take to reducing drug-related deaths.
“Time is of the essence when someone becomes unresponsive after an overdose and can be crucial in terms of avoiding death or serious brain injury.
“We need everyone to be able to recognise an overdose, intervene and call 999.
“Naloxone helps buy the person time while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
“If a person is not breathing or there is not enough oxygen supply to the brain then that person is obviously in very real danger. We encourage everyone to visit www.stopthedeaths.com to learn more and to carry naloxone.”