“More than 20,000 deaths might be prevented every year in the United States alone if naloxone, used to counter drug overdoses, was more widely available, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.
Few countries have such good data as the United States, but the WHO estimates about 69,000 people around the world die each year from overdoses of heroin or other opioids, with Iran, Russia and China known to have high numbers of opioid users.
Addiction experts writing in the British Medical Journal welcomed the new guidance, saying it would help save more lives among heroin addicts.
Last month, Scotland, the first to introduce a national program to provide naloxone, released results showing a marked reduction in opioid overdose deaths among people just released from prison, a particularly high risk group, from 9.8 percent in 2006 and 2010 to 4.7 percent in 2013.”
Also see the WHO report Community Management of Opioid Overdose available for download at: http://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/22891/1/WHO%20Naloxone.pdf
An information sheet is available at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/information-sheet/en/
Source: Reuters.com – November 4, 2014