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Hundreds of drug users’ lives could be saved by Scots paramedics armed with 1,000 new kits

Many paramedics are now carrying naloxone kits.

More than 1,000 potentially life-saving kits have been handed out to paramedics across Scotland in the last year.

The rollout of naloxone is aimed at tackling rising numbers of drug-related deaths.

It helps reverse the effects of an overdose and buys the casualty time until they can be given proper medical care.

According to the Scottish Ambulance Service, 91 kits have been distributed to paramedics in Tayside and 69 in Fife.

Efforts to tackle fatal overdoses

The project is being driven by Scotland’s drug deaths taskforce, which was set up in order to tackle record numbers of fatalities caused by substance use.

Angela Constance, minister for drugs policy, said: “I am delighted to hear that staff at the Scottish Ambulance Service have distributed 1,000 naloxone kits, each of which might be used to save a life, and I want to thank all of those involved for the amazing work they have done in this area.”

“Naloxone is one of a wide range of measures being used to address the public health emergency of drugs deaths but it plays an important role and allows those supplying the kits to connect people who use drugs and their families with appropriate local services.”

Drugs policy minister Angela Constance MSP.

Gary Rutherford, patient safety manager for the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: “We’re proud to have reached our target of distributing 1,000 Naloxone kits in a year.

“This targeted distribution by ambulance crews is an evidence-based intervention that saves lives by ensuring that take home Naloxone gets into the hands of those who need it the most.”

Highest drug death figures in Europe

In 2021, Scotland was reported to have by far the highest rate of drug deaths in Europe.

More than 1,300 people lost their lives across the country in 2020 – with 57 in Dundee alone.

Drugs paraphernalia.

That same year, 57 people lost their lives to drug addiction in Dundee alone.

But a mid-year report released in December showed some signs that the numbers are starting to drop.

The taskforce is trying to lower those figures through naloxone and other initiatives, while considering more radical steps like drug consumption rooms.

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