In uncertain times, change can happen very quickly.
According to Tony Duffin, the subject of this edition’s Q&A, in Dublin the waiting time for people needing methadone went from 12–13 weeks to two or three days during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Down under, the recent Federal Budget offered another example of adapting to the uncertainty created by COVID-19: an extension of the Take Home Naloxone (THN) pilot, currently underway in NSW, SA and WA, to the end of June 2022.
There is a good argument for the pilot to be expanded to all states and territories but nevertheless, continuation of the pilot in these uncertain times is worthy of celebration. This decision will save lives.
Take Home Naloxone programs are also the subject of a very interesting paper in May’s issue of International Drug Policy, written by researchers at the University of Stirling and the Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.
The study looks at two vital ingredients for success in any THN program: ownership (having a personal supply of THN) and carriage (actually having it on you when asked).
The authors conclude that, from the available data, the prevalence of THN carriage overall appears low, despite moderate levels of ownership. Furthermore, they argue that services distributing THN must ensure that the importance of regular carriage of naloxone is consistently emphasised.
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CEO, Penington Institute