Naloxone distribution and training

In 2022, 1051 people in Scotland died from a drug overdose. image shoes a line of people, 9 are coloured red, one blue.  Text reads, ODnotME Overdoses are preventable.  90% of overdoses are preventable, carry naloxone, call 999, stop an overdose.  Take home naloxone.

These high numbers are concerning and we need to work together to reduce them.

Together we can prevent drug deaths.

What is Naloxone? 


Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid-related overdose.

Opioids are drugs like codeine, morphine, tramadol, fentanyl, heroin and methadone and buprenorphine.

Why use Naloxone? 

 A person may have multiple drugs in their body but reversing the effects of opioids with Naloxone can be the difference between life and death.

We should always suspect that opioids are involved since they are implicated in so many deaths (89% in Scotland). Naloxone buys a person time until an ambulance arrives, or they can be seen by a medical professional.  

Anyone in Scotland who is likely to find someone experiencing an overdose in their family, their community, their workplace or in a public place can request a Naloxone kit and be trained in its use.

Naloxone kits can come as either a pre-filled syringe or a nasal spray. In the UK it is legal for anyone to administer Naloxone to anyone for the purpose of saving a life, regardless of whether or not they have had training.

What causes opiate an overdose? 

  • opioids include drugs such as heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and tramadol
  • an opioid overdose can occur in anyone using opioids by reducing the ability to breathe effectively
  • many opioid overdoses are accidental
  • the risk of overdose increases if the individual taking opiods has recently been in prison, hospital, detoxed or the daily amount of drugs is reduced, or is mixed with other downers including alcohol

Who can Naloxone be given to?

  • Anyone who is unresponsive, has blue lips and is not breathing normally (including snoring)
  • Administer with caution in pregnancy or in people with heart conditions

How long does Naloxone last?

  • Naloxone is short acting and buys you time until an ambulance arrives, lasting only 20 minutes and up to an hour
  • It does not last as long as most opioids – a person may return to overdose state
  • Close monitoring within a medical setting (e.g. hospital) is required for several hours after an overdose.

How is Naloxone given?

Naloxone is available to administer as an injection or as a nasal spray (Nyxoid). 

Where can I get Naloxone? 

East Lothian Substance Use Service and MELDAP (Midlothian and East Lothian Drug and Alcohol Partnership) is actively engaging with community partnerships, GP practices and pharmacy groups to help to deliver, distribute and widen the coverage of Naloxone, both in its injectable (Prenoxad) and inter-nasal (Nyxoid) solutions.

If you wish to trained in / carry Naloxone, please get in touch with MELD to arrange a training session. 

How do I arrange Naloxone Training for myself / my team?

Please contact MELD 

T: 0131 653 5162