Marking Wales Overdose Awareness Day (Tuesday 13 December) the Minister said that substance misuse continues to have a devastating impact on individuals and their families and friends.
During 2010 there were 152 drug related deaths in Wales. To try and bring down this number an initiative aimed at preventing overdoses has now been rolled out across Wales.
The Take Home Naloxone Rescue Scheme offers free Naloxone kits to all drug users at risk of overdose. The decision to roll out the scheme Wales-wide was made by the Minister in May following a successful evaluation of the pilots carried out over the last two years in a number of areas in Wales. To date over 1,000 Naloxone kits have been issued across Wales with over 100 being used to reverse the effects of overdose.
Carl Sargeant said,
“The Wales Overdose Awareness Day is about raising awareness of overdose prevention as well as giving families an opportunity to mourn for loved ones.
“I am hopeful that the roll out of the Take Home Naloxone Rescue Scheme will help us in our ongoing commitment to reduce drug related deaths across Wales. There was strong evidence from the pilots that the areas using Naloxone saw a decline in the number of non fatal overdoses and deaths. I made the decision to roll out the scheme to all parts of Wales on this basis.”