Dr Andrew McAuley
I am currently Senior Epidemiologist in the Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Virus Team at Health Protection Scotland and Senior Research Fellow within the School of Health & Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University. I have worked in the addictions field since 2005 and am a current member of the Scottish Government Partnership for Action on Drugs (PADS) Harm Reduction Group and a former member of the National Naloxone Advisory GroupI have led and collaborated on a number of peer-reviewed publications and recently completed my [part-time] PhD in 2017 with a thesis titled, ‘Lived experiences of take-home naloxone: an interpretative phenomenological analysis’. Past research projects have been supported financially by the Scottish Government, the World Health Organisation and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
What difference does it make? Assessing the impact of take-home naloxone scale up internationally
Internationally, opioid-related overdose is a major cause of premature mortality. Since it was first conceptualised in the 1990s, supply of the opioid antagonist Naloxone for peer administration (‘Take-Home Naloxone’) to prevent drug-related deaths has increased markedly around the world. In some areas, community based programmes have grown into national initiatives supported and resourced by central governments. However, despite this increase in adoption and reach, opioid-related deaths also continue to increase and are at epidemic levels in North America, the UK and parts of Europe. This has led some critics to question the impact of Take-Home Naloxone as a public health intervention.
This presentation aims to address the criticisms levelled at Take-Home Naloxone by some commentators by reviewing the latest evidence on adoption, reach and impact from countries which have invested heavily in this approach and to determine ‘what difference does it make’? In addition, the presentation will consider ways in which late adopting countries can provide a more nuanced evaluation approach to their take-home naloxone initiatives to mitigate similar criticisms being made in future.