Fitting a naloxone take home kit into our life to save lives

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

Miss Olivia Watkins

Pre-Registration Pharmacist

Aims: To investigate staff and client views on the design, acceptability and effectiveness of a take home ‘emergency relapse pack’ (ERP) containing naloxone, information on avoiding relapse and contacts for support in the event of an overdose or feared relapse.

Design: A qualitative study using semi-structured focus-groups and interviews was undertaken. Verbatim transcripts were coded and thematically analysed (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Participants were given pseudonyms to maintain anonymity of quotes.

Setting: Turning Point residential rehabilitation and a detoxification service in the North of England.

Participants: Three focus groups were undertaken with clients attending the detoxification or rehabilitation service for opiate and/or alcohol addiction (N=20). Two focus groups were carried out with staff (N=8, including nurses, support workers, and team lead) and a one-to-one semi-structured interview with a peer mentor.

Findings and Conclusions: Four themes emerged, ‘Pack position in life’, ‘Individualised’, ‘Training’ and ‘Overall design. ‘Narratives captured by the’ pack position in life’ theme highlighted the need to clearly articulate the purpose of the ERP ‘you’re not gonna inject [the naloxone] yourself (.) it’s more like the community [relapse] packs’ (Janine – Staff). Participants also identified that logistically, to ensure the ERP was available at the time and place when a relapse occurs, clients needed to carry it with them. This presents many challenges to the success of the ERP. However, participants suggested an option to individualise the information and a ensuring a discrete ERP design, would help clients adopt it into their day-to-day lives. All participants felt they needed training on how to use naloxone, but preferences varied on whether training should be one-to-one or in a group and whether a nurse or peer mentor should deliver the training.

References: Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa


Miss Krupa Joshi, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Miss Emma Williams, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Miss Tina Suri, Ealing Hospital, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust Dr Jan Hernan, Turning Point Dr Jenny Scott, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, University of Bath Dr Hannah Family, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, University of Bath


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Miss Olivia Watkins