Wider naloxone access to cut heroin deaths

THE ACT is poised to launch Australia’s first foray into community use of the opioid antagonist naloxone to reduce heroin overdose mortality.

However a leading drugs researcher has warned legislative change is needed to protect prescribers if naloxone (Narcan) is to be made more freely available to drug users and their contacts.

“We’ve got good Samaritan legislation in different jurisdictions but a number of those laws exclude drug users from protection… It is complicated legally,” said Professor Simon Lenton, deputy director at Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute and an adviser to the ACT program.

“There’s also a reluctance on the part of prescribers in terms of whether they are protected if it is administered to a third person [not named on the script] and they’re aware of that being a possibility.

“We need good Samaritan legislation to be amended to protect