Naloxone is a medicine which can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose caused by opiates & opioids such as heroin, fentanyl and codeine
Claire, a criminal justice worker for Together Drug & Alcohol Services had been on a Naloxone course. Like any course, what you learn in the classroom can never prepare you for when you have to use it in real life. That day came in November 2020.
Claire stepped out to get lunch after a challenging call from a relative of a service user and spotted one of her clients collapsed outside the public toilets. Claire crossed over to help and placed the client in the recovery position. She was joined by a Police Officer from the Integrated Offender Management Unit who knew the client. While the Police Officer stayed with the man, Claire ran back to the office (2 minutes away) to grab a Naloxone kit, (proactively offered to all Together clients). On her return, they got the ambulance service on the phone and Claire spoke them through what she was doing step by step.
Claire gave a first dose of Naloxone. Following the initial dose, it appeared that the client was deteriorating. Following a two minute interval, Claire informed the client that she was going to administer a second dose. There was no response at all and if anything, he appeared to decline further.
She spoke to the ambulance crew and then administered a third dose. The Naloxone took effect, the client sat up. “What are you doing, why are you jabbing me with that?”.
“It’s magnificent to watch. From out cold to sat bolt upright”. And just as the gentleman came around, the ambulance arrived.
Claire’s quick actions were praised by her colleagues in Together and by the Police. Although initially upset, the client now understood that Claire saved his life. He has now moved to a different town and is more stable in his treatment.