You Can Now Buy A Heroin Antidote Over The Counter In Australia

Naloxone, a drug that works as an antidote to heroin and other kinds of opioid overdoses is now available over the counter in Australian pharmacies. It is hoped that by making the drug available outside of emergency departments and ambulances it will be administered quicker, preventing overdoses.

Naloxone works by blocking the opioid from working on the brain and nervous system; it reportedly has no effect on anyone without opioids in their system. In the US, it is available in the form of a nasal spray, and is even given free to high schools. The New York Police Department have been carrying antidote kits containing naloxone in both inhaler and syringe form since 2014. The decision followed a trial in Massachusetts where it reversed overdose in 211 cases -- a staggering 95 per cent success rate.

In Australia naloxone will be available as a single-use syringe, like that found in the NYPD's kits.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) -- the Australian body that regulates access to medicines -- rescheduled the drug after receiving 96 submissions in support of making naloxone available over the counter from a pharmacist.

Dr Marianne Jauncey, medical director of the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross -- the only supervised injecting centre in the southern hemisphere -- praises the move. "We need to be present, we need to recognise that it's an overdose, we need to know what to do, and we need Narcan (naxolone)," she says.

Dr Jauncey also points out that the availability of naloxone won't address the cause of opioid adiction.

"We know now just how common chronic pain is -- up to 20 per cent of the population can have some form of chronic pain. Unfortunately there's been a tendency to write a script rather than looking at the other things that people can do in their lifestyle that might reduce their pain."

If opioid or other drugs are causing problems in your life, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

[TripleJ Hack]

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    That would be a good game. Chasing junkies and hitting then with some narcan. It would piss them off totally. Sounds like fun.

    Great time to be a heroin user or looking to become one.

    This is a great move. "Some more people might become junkies" is a terrible justification for denying or restricting access to potentially life-saving medical treatment.

    Three things:
    1. Good it will save lives.
    2. It might help some people actually quit!
    3. Authorities can track those people who are buying Naloxone. Does it have any other medical purpose, if not, then it's pretty sure what it's being used for....just sayin.

      Point 3 - NO.
      That would negate the whole purpose of having it more wildly available.

      The police really don't care that much about users. It's the people that distribute it.

        Point 3 - YESHSHSHHHHSSS

        I said, Authorities can track, I never said, would track.

          Can they? There are pretty strict privacy laws around that sort of stuff.

          no they can't! Authorities can't just go into a chemist and ask for personal information of ANY kind! Maybe with a warrant? Good luck finding a judge to issue a warrant just to see how many life-saving syringes they have obtained

      It won't help people quit. Generally when emergency teams give it to an addict they're not happy to wake up from their heroin high. All it does is reverse the effects - including any sort of euphoria or joy they get from heroin. It won't affect addition at all.

    Sounds like a great idea. I think they should make ones for all different kinds of drugs. A weed and pills inhaler for people that suffer bad trips. Would save lots of ambulance time.

      Vitamin C bro and lots of it, that gets you out of a bad trip no joke.

        Will try that next timei cant handle my high :) Orange juice or vit c pills?

          Pills have more C in them, but juice might work too. Happy tripping

          Last edited 07/02/16 5:46 pm

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