Opioids are responsible for over three deaths in Australia per day (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Prescribed opioids account for 70 per cent of opioid-induced deaths either by accident or through misuse.

Opioids include pain-relieving drugs legally prescribed by a medical professional such as oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin.

Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. In technical terms naloxone is a short-acting opioid antagonist that stops the central nervous system slowing down, giving a person experiencing an overdose the ability to breathe normally again. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system.

Until recently, naloxone has only been administered by medical staff or emergency service officers, but now the naloxone intervention is now being expanded across NSW, and people are able to access free naloxone and training on how to administer the medicine.

Naloxone in the form of the Nyxoid® nasal spray and Prenoxad® pre-filled syringe are available for free without a prescription from registered community pharmacies, Needle and Syringe Programs (NSP) and participating non-government organisations (NGOs) and private services in NSW.

You can find out more, including a list of registered community pharmacies, here: Take Home Naloxone (nsw.gov.au)

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