Naloxone and overdose
The ATDC is very concerned about people that may be subject to increased risk of overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Naloxone is a lifesaving drug that acts to reverse an opiate overdose. During COVID19, access to drugs as well as some services and transport may be disrupted. This poses a risk to Tasmanians who use drugs.
If you have a client who is at risk of an overdose, please take steps to access Naloxone.
Pharmacies remain open, and they are the place to access it. There are reports of low stock in pharmacies, but it can be ordered in.
The options are:
- Have your client go into a Pharmacy and buy it (or ask them to order it in). Depending on what type they ask for, the cost could be between $50-$60.
- Have your client go to a GP, get a script, then go to the Pharmacy. They then order it in and your client will pay $6.80 as a concessional card holder or $41.60 as a general patient covered under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS)
- Have your client visit the staff at a needle and syringe program around Tasmania. NSPs are supported through friendly staff who are non-judgemental, know their stuff, and will guide your client through the process (still accessed through a Pharmacy but they assist) and they will offer harm reduction information. Ask them about accessing Naloxone today!
Reduce your risk of overdose
Erratic drug supply, illness and stress increase your overdose risk. Take-home naloxone is available at pharmacies, why not stock up now so you’re prepared?
If you use opioids like heroin or painkillers like oxycodone, have naloxone on hand in the event of unintentional overdose.
Make sure you have enough harm reduction supplies to last you a few weeks – particularly if you are at higher risk of infection or complications.
Please be aware that having a stockpile of drugs will increase your risk of overdose. If you continue to use opioids like heroin or oxycodone, make sure you have naloxone.
Try not to use alone. If you must, use somewhere quiet but not totally isolated. Think about whether someone will be able to find you if you drop.
If there are lots of people getting sick, emergency services might take longer to reach you if you drop.
Naloxone is now available as a nasal spray as well as the injection over the counter at pharmacies, however it may be more affordable if you get a prescription from your doctor.
If you are on an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) talk to your clinic, doctor and/or pharmacy about a plan in case you become ill, or if services are limited or close down.
Remember: things are moving fast and may change by the time you read this.