Wales

Heroin antidote 'saving countless lives' of drug users

Needle Image copyright PA

A heroin antidote that reduces drug-related deaths has been used in more than 1,065 overdose events in the past seven years, a report found.

There has been a 14% rise in the distribution of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) kit in 2015-16 - with 3,186 either supplied or re-supplied.

It works by temporarily binding to opioid receptors in the brain and body and counteracting the drug's effect.

Public Health Wales found people died in 1% of cases when it was used.

Its research showed 433 people used THN when suffering drug poisoning from heroin in 2015/16.

Of these, the outcome was reported in 392 cases, with users dying in 1% of instances.

Head of substance misuse Josie Smith said it is "saving countless lives".

She added that changes in the law, enabling families, partners and friends to be trained in its administration will help reduce the number of deaths further.

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