Every year, Forward empowers over 10,000 prisoners with drug and alcohol problems to break the cycle of crime and addiction and to achieve transformational change – from initial advice, harm minimisation and clinical treatment, to intensive programmes that instil and sustain recovery, and access to networks of support upon release to the community.

Drug-related deaths in England and Wales are at record levels: 3,756 deaths in 2017/18, of which 53% involved an opioid (e.g. heroin) overdose. Death rates among prisoners (especially those on post-release supervision) are many times higher than in the general population. There were 955 deaths of offenders in the community in England and Wales in 2017/18. The few weeks immediately after release from prison is a particularly high-risk period for drug-related death.

In response to these findings, and as part of our commitment to continually improve services and to deliver the best care possible, Forward have instigated a highly-targeted initiative to increase the number of service users being released from prison with Take Home Naloxone (THN), a drug that can save lives by reversing the reduced breathing rate caused by an opioid overdose.