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High uptake for overdose reduction kits

Scotland has seen a 10% increase in naloxone kits issued to reduce fatal opiate overdoses, official figures show. 

In 2010 Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce a national naloxone programme, funded by the government. 

Recent figures show that 3,833 kits were issued in 2012/13, an increase of 10% compared to the first year of the programme. 

The kits allow trained individuals, families and friends to reverse an opiate overdose by administering naloxone, allowing more time for an ambulance to arrive. 

The government introduced the £1 million scheme to reduce Scotland's “long legacy of drug use”, Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said. 

She added: “We are investing record resources to improve frontline services, get more people into treatment earlier and help people recover from problem drug use. 

“While drug use among the general adult population and young people has decreased, there remains an older group od people with problem drug use who now also face a range of other health problems.” 

Andrew McAuley, public health adviser for substance misuse at NHS Health Scotland said: “The results published today highlight that strong progress on implementing the programme across the country has been maintained over the past year, with increasing numbers of naloxone supplied to those most at risk of opiate overdose and hundreds of lives potentially saved as a result.”