Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which is used specifically and solely to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when used in a timely manner. Naloxone is widely used in Australia and overseas by paramedics and emergency room staff in cases of suspected opioid overdose. CAHMA has provided Take-Home Naloxone in both intra-nasal and injectable formulations, with the intra-nasal formulation being much preferred in our community. Naloxone has no psychoactive effect and is not a drug of dependence, which removes the risk that it may be diverted for an improper use (put simply, it does nothing except reverse overdoses).
Naloxone is listed in the World Health Organisation list of Essential Medicines 2021. Addressing Increasing Overdoses.
Opioid overdose is a continued and substantial contributor to death, disability and injury among individuals who use opioids in the ACT. There has been an increase in the use of pharmaceutical opioids, and their use in conjunction with other depressant drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, and heroin, is leading to an increase in the number of opioid related overdoses in Australia.