cohealth welcomes ‘lifesaving’ new proposal for naloxone

Released on 11th November 2020

cohealth applauds the Victorian Government’s proposal to make Naloxone more easily accessible for Victorians.  Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.   

The proposed amendment to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act would mean that a broader range of services and practitioners would be able to dispense Naloxone, not just pharmacies. 

cohealth says that adopting a harm reduction approach to supporting people who use drugs saves lives.  

Streamlining the Naloxone dispensing process would mean more people will have access to this lifesaving treatment,” said Nicole Bartholomeusz, Chief Executive, cohealth. 

cohealth currently supports hundreds of people each week with drug treatment services, including outreach worka Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) providing clean injecting equipment, and Naloxone education and training to clients. 

Currently a person who has undergone Naloxone training takes their certificate of training to a selected range of participating pharmacies to receive the Naloxone.  

According to a government media release, Minister Martin Foley will today introduce proposed amendments to the Act that will allow people other than pharmacists to seek authorisation to supply Naloxone to people who are at risk of, or who may witness, an overdose 

This will include health workers in needle and syringe programs, and potentially other services such as alcohol and other drug treatment providers such as alcohol and drug treatment providers, and through them, peers. 

If our drug treatment services are able to dispense Naloxone to clientsthey can ensure it is delivered to a far greater number of people than through a pharmacy alone,” said Ms Bartholomeusz. 

“This is sensible health policy that will save lives, and prevent the pain and trauma experienced by families who lose loved ones to overdose. 

“It’s reassuring for us to know that our leaders are using evidence to make decisions about the wellbeing of some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” 

— Ends — 

More information:  Lanie Harris 0418 552 377

More on cohealth: 

cohealth is a Victorian not-for-profit community health organisation that strives to improve health and wellbeing for all. It provides universal access to services as well as targeted programs and assertive models to address the health disparities experienced by disadvantaged groups. cohealth offers a broad range of high quality, integrated health and support services, including medical oral, pharmacy, mental health and drug and alcohol services.  

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