The Australian Government is investing $10 million in a Take Home Naloxone Pilot. Under the pilot, naloxone will be available for free to people who may either experience, or witness, an opioid overdose. No prescription will be required.
The take home naloxone pilot aims to tackle rising opioid related harm. It will assist people who are at risk of an opioid overdose or adverse reaction, their carers, friends and family members.
Naloxone will be available in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
Each state will identify where naloxone will be available within their state. Sites may include:
community and hospital-based pharmacies
alcohol and drug treatment centres
needle and syringe programs
Opioid use is a major cause of hospitalisation and death in Australia. A person who has taken either a large amount of opioids or some strong opioids can overdose or experience an adverse reaction:
Every day, 3 people die from drug-induced deaths involving opioid use in Australia, while nearly 150 hospitalisations and 14 emergency department admissions involve opioids.
More than 110,000 Australians are currently struggling with opioid dependence.
In 2018, 1,740 people died from drug-induced deaths, with opioids present in 1,123 of those deaths (64%).
The take home naloxone pilot will start on 1 December 2019 and run through to 28 February 2021.
The pilot is funded by the Australian Government. The Department of Health is overseeing the pilot and working with the state governments of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia to implement it. Painaustralia will work with the Department of Health to promote the pilot.