Naloxone training in General Practice

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


Scotland has had a national Naloxone programme since 2010 to address it having one of the highest DRD rates in Europe. The programme has been offered through the specialized drug services. The majority of our substance use patients are managed in the practice and do not routinely attend specialized services. A recent increase in drug related deaths in our catchment area has prompted us to evaluate the uptake of Naloxone training among our patients.


The practice has 228 patients registered on the substance misuse register. The Vision Plus system was interrogated to identify that 5 patients had prior Naloxone training. The practice decided to initiate a monthly Naloxone clinic to deliver a 15 minute brief intervention to train substance users to deliver first aid and administer Naloxone. The standard set was that 95% of all substance use patients should have Naloxone training. A re-audit was preformed on 18 July 2016 (after 7 clinics).


10 patients are seen at each clinic, and after 7 months, 61 patients had completed Naloxone training. The intervention was well received overall. Three patients have reported having to use the Naloxone potentially averting three drug related deaths in this time.


With only 5 people taking up Naloxone training pre-intervention, it appeared that the Scottish Naloxone programme may have been ineffective in reaching patients whose substance use is managed in general practice. Our intervention, while labour intensive, has dramatically increased uptake and may be an effective model for this patient group.


Dr Diana Whitworth Dr Tony Harrison Dr Chris Nickerson Dr Pamela Leslie Dr Matt Brown Dr Barbara Phipps Dr Rachel Hendrie all GPs at Sighthill Green Medical Practice

Conflicts of interest:

Funding sources and declaration: NA

no conflict of interest

Dr Joseph Tay Wee Teck