Drug and alcohol service Forward Leeds has started handing out potentially life saving kit as part of an innovative new policy.
The kits contain Naloxone, which can temporarily reverse the effect of opiates such as heroin and bring someone round in the event of an overdose.
We have already had three used packs returned for replacement – potentially that’s three lives saved.Lee Wilson, Forward Leeds area manager
Commissioned by Leeds City Council and three Leeds clinical commissioning groups, the programme has been rolled out across the city for the first time.
Lee Wilson, Forward Leeds area manager, said: “Most opioid overdoses are witnessed by friends, partners or family.
“There is often someone on hand who could have administered Naloxone and prevented a death if the kit was there and they knew how to use it.”
The organisation’s recovery co-ordinators and staff at other services in Leeds having been distributing kits since March.
Mr Wilson said: “We have already had three used packs returned for replacement – potentially that’s three lives saved.
“That’s someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother who is alive because of the kits we are distributing. They are life savers.”
Dr Ian Cameron, the council’s director of public health, said the programme had been funded because of the public health benefits and the potential to save lives.
“”We take our responsibility to do what we can to prevent unnecessary deaths seriously and this investment will support the wide range of work we are doing to save lives, reduce the health harms of drug misuse and support those needing help to deal with dependency,” he said.