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Highland Perthshire Police Equipped with Opioid Reverser

More than 80 police officers assaulted each day

Police in Highland Perthshire are being equipped with a spray which reverses the effects of opioids after trials in Dundee, Falkirk, Glasgow, Stirling and Caithness proved successful.

On 62 occasions, Naloxone sprays used by police were able to save people in critical conditions from opioids.

Police Scotland’s Chief Constable Livingstone said: “I know the terrible toll of drugs deaths in Scotland and policing is committed to playing our part in reducing the harm caused to individuals, families and communities.

“We have a vital role in preventing drugs from reaching our streets and bringing those engaged in serious and organised crime to justice and that will always be a key duty and priority for Police Scotland.

“Preservation of life, keeping people safe, lies right at the heart of policing. We have a purpose and remit which goes beyond law enforcement. We have a positive legal duty to improve the lives of our communities. Equipping and training officers with Naloxone will contribute to that mission.

“Policing is so often the service of first and last resort; the service first on the scene; the service which responds to crisis and criticality. Where a person is suffering an overdose, Naloxone nasal-spray can be given safely by officers with no adverse effects.

“It is absolutely essential that where Naloxone is used by an officer to help people in crisis, professional medical attention continues to be provided from ambulance service colleagues and others. In addition, it is crucial that timely and sustainable support is available to provide treatment for those suffering addiction.”

The spray is now being rolled out across the entirety of Scotland in an effort from the police to counter opioid deaths throughout the country.

But it’s not just the police are saving lives, the #stopthedeaths campaign is training the public in how to recognise someone in a critical condition.

The campaign is also offering the spray to anyone who has completed their online course to help reach more vulnerable people.

Kirsten Horsburgh, Strategy Coordinator for Drug Death Prevention at Scottish Drugs Forum, said:

“The ‘How to Save a Life’ campaign has demonstrated that people in Scotland are keen to assist efforts to prevent drug deaths.

“Naloxone is an emergency treatment that can help save someone’s life and it is essential that people are equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to provide help to someone experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

“Taxi drivers may also find themselves in this position and we are grateful to Glasgow Taxis for helping to share this important message.”

Chief Constable Ian Livingstone added: “I’m grateful to all the officers who stepped forward during the trial to carry Naloxone and help their fellow citizens when they needed it.”

During the test of change, 808 officers were trained to use Naloxone, and 656 (81 per cent) volunteered to carry the nasal spray kits.

Work is under way to secure stock of Naloxone and a national programme of training and equipping over 12,000 officers, will be undertaken in the coming months.

All officers within response, community, and other roles including dog handlers, armed police, public order and road policing up to and including the rank of Inspector will be trained and equipped. Any other officer or member of staff is free to undertake the training.”

You can find out more information about Police Scotland’s use of Naloxone on: https://www.scotland.police.uk/what-s-happening/news/2020/november/police-scotland-to-pilot-carriage-of-naloxone-by-officers/

You can also find out how you can get involved to save a life on: https://www.stopthedeaths.com/

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