The Scottish National Naloxone Programme has proven to be effective in lowering the number of Opioid-Related Deaths (ORDs) in people recently released from prisons according to a newly published report.

The report entitled ‘Effectiveness of Scotland's National Naloxone Programme for reducing opioid-related deaths: a before (2006-10) versus after (2011-13) comparison’, was published in the Society for the Study of Addiction's journal 'Addiction'. 

The study aimed to assess the effectiveness for Scotland’s levels of ORDs between the two time periods, as well as to assess cost-effectiveness of the programme.

The report found that In 2006-2010, 9.8% of ORDs (193 out of 1,970) were in people released from prison within 4 weeks of death, whereas only 6.3% of ORDs in 2011-2013 followed prison release (76 out of 1,212); this represented a reduction of 3.6%. 

This reduction in the proportion of prison release ORDs translates into 42 fewer prison release ORDs during 2011-13, when 12,000 naloxone kits were issued at current prescription-cost of £225,000.

In conclusion, the report found that Scotland's National Naloxone Programme, which started in 2011, was associated with a 36% reduction in the proportion of opioid-related deaths that occurred in the 4 weeks following release from prison.

Click here to read the full article (restricted access).

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.