"The aim of the National Naloxone Programme is to contribute to a reduction in fatal opioid overdoses in Scotland. The rate of drug related deaths in Scotland remains higher than the UK average (9.17 drug related deaths per 100,000 population in Scotland in 2010, compared with 3.1 in the UK1). An earlier investigation into drug related deaths in Scotland and more recent information from Scotland’s national drug related deaths database has shown that the majority of these deaths are opioid related, the majority are ‘accidental overdoses’, the majority are ‘witnessed’ and 50% have been in prison (Zador et al, 20052; Graham et al, 2011 and 2012 3 4). As well as monitoring the supply of ‘take-home’ naloxone kits in Scotland, ISD Scotland were tasked by the Scottish Government to measure the impact of increased naloxone availability on the number of (opioid) drug related deaths in Scotland and, in particular, to monitor the number and percentage of these occurring within four weeks of prison release."


Scottish Government, "National Naloxone Programme Scotland Monitoring Report – naloxone kits issued in 2011/12," Edinburgh, Scotland: Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland, July 31, 2012.