Have your say! The government is doing a consultation on making life saving drug that reverses effects of heroin overdose available to homelessness services. The consultation closes today, but you can use the information below to fill it in.
996 people died homeless in 2020.
In 90% of cases where housing status was recorded the person had some form of temporary accommodation at the time of their death.
The most common cause of death was overdose (23%).
How can Naloxone help?
People die when they overdoses on heroin (or other opioids such as methadone, morphine or fentanyl) because their breathing slows down and stops. A drug called Naloxone reverses this effect and if available quickly can save their life.
Naloxone comes in a pre-filled syringe which can be injected into the person’s arm, thigh or buttock or nasal spray that can be sprayed into their nostril. Because Naloxone is easy to administer and has no effect if mistakenly given when opioids have not been taken, drug treatment services can provide it to a family member or friend of a person who
uses heroine, or to a person who works with people who are at risk of overdose such as homelessness services.
Availability of Naloxone – and basic training for staff working in homeless temporary accommodation on how and when to use it – has real potential to save lives.
Is Naloxone available now?
We have sent Freedom of Information requests to the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester, those that have responded so far have confirmed that none of the temporary accommodation they use.
What you can do:
The Government is asking for people’s views about whether:
- it should be easier for homeless services and temporary accommodation providers working with people at risk of death by overdose to have access to Naloxone. Currently, access depends on overstretched drug treatment services being able to provide a supply and offer basic training about how to identify an opioid overdose, when and how to administer one or more doses of naloxone, and the importance of calling the emergency services;
- homeless services and temporary accommodation providers should be able to provide and basic Naloxone syringes or nasal spray to others such as other workers, family or friends who may need it to save a life.
You can complete the survey as an individual or on behalf of your organisation. Expanding access to naloxone – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The consultation closes today (28 September 2021) at 11.45pm.
With thanks to campaign volunteer Millie Booth for her research and support in our campaign against deaths in temporary accommodation.