Opioid overdoses are estimated to cause approximately one death per day in Australia. Though there are no national data on non-fatal overdoses, which can cause injuries and brain damage, overdoses are commonly experienced by people who use drugs.
The opioid antagonist naloxone can quickly reverse the effects of opioid overdose. A substantial body of evidence shows that expanding naloxone availability and training potential overdose witnesses to administer naloxone is a remarkably safe and effective intervention for preventing opioid overdose fatalities, with the potential to prevent opioid overdose related injury.
The training of potential overdose witnesses in the use of naloxone can effectively be integrated into comprehensive overdose prevention and response training programs. To date only the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has introduced a program to train potential overdose witnesses in the use of naloxone as part of comprehensive overdose prevention and response training.
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