Penington Institute commends Minister for Mental Health the Hon Martin Foley MP for his announcement to widen access to opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone.
CEO of Penington Institute, John Ryan said: “The Andrews Labor Government is to be congratulated for its decision to help save lives through their subsidisation of the cost of naloxone to drug users or families struggling to afford it and their funding of an outreach service to follow up drug users who have survived an overdose.”
“People who have survived an overdose are at higher risk of having another overdose, so the outreach service is a potentially life-saving initiative,” Mr Ryan said.
“We note that the service will run in overdose hotspots – Yarra, Melbourne, Port Phillip, Geelong, Dandenong and Brimbank/Maribyrnong – it would be ideal if the service could be expanded Victoria-wide.”
“People are dying of overdose across Victoria, with the biggest increases in regional and rural areas, so all Victorians should be able to benefit from this initiative.”
“Access to naloxone is a health issue and any initiative that increases access is to be commended,” Mr Ryan said.
“Several studies report that in 60 per cent of fatal opioid overdoses, someone else was present, indicating the importance of access to naloxone and training about the medication.”