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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 23:07 GMT 00:07 UK
Overdose drug plan is considered
Heroin and needle
Nalozone would counteract the effects of a heroin overdose
Scotland's largest local authority is to decide whether to issue heroin addicts with a resuscitation drug.

The proposed six month pilot project costing 20,000 aims to reduce drugs deaths, which have increased in Glasgow by almost a third since January.

The city council wants to issue "vulnerable" drug users, carers and families with "take home" naloxone to use in case of an overdose.

Councillors will be asked to approve the proposal on Tuesday.

A report to go before a council committee states some drug services would have naloxone to "provide emergency assistance for overdose victims on site".

'Extensive scrutiny'

It adds: "Families and carers and service users would have their own personal supply of naloxone to take home and potentially use to treat an opiate overdose."

If the pilot proves successful it would be rolled out across the city.

The report states that any extension to the proposal would "be subject to extensive political scrutiny".

Naloxone is legally classified as a prescription only medicine but can be administered by anyone for "the purpose of saving a life".

The sudden increase in heroin purity may be occurring as a result of a purposeful marketing strategy by organised criminal gangs within the city
Council report

It counteracts the effects of heroin.

In May, Strathclyde Police issued a warning to drug users about the quality of heroin being sold in the force area.

In the first five months of 2006, drug related deaths increased by 34, or 71%, in the force area compared to the same period in 2005.

Police said this was down to double strength heroin.

In Glasgow drug deaths increased by seven - or 29% - to 31.

The report states: "Strathclyde Police advised the sudden increase in heroin purity may be occurring as a result of a purposeful marketing strategy by organised criminal gangs within the city.

"These gangs are at the heart of the city's heroin trade and are allegedly now trying to reclaim the heroin market, which has been weakened by the increased prevalence and used of cheaper high quality cocaine powder and crack cocaine."


SEE ALSO:
Call to trial heroin on the NHS
05 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Heroin warning after deaths rise
16 May 06 |  Glasgow and West
Fears over drugs overdose deaths
08 Aug 05 |  Scotland


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