Medacs Healthcare

FEB 10/2014

Medacs Healthcare and Dyfed Powys Police Trial Drug Kit

Medacs Healthcare (Managed Health Services) is lending its full support to a ground-breaking new drug trial, carried out in conjunction with clients Dyfed Powys Police Authority and the Welsh Assembly.

The cells of Llanelli police station will be the first in Wales to trial the new ‘take-home’ drug kit called Naloxone, which is designed to combat heroin overdoses.

Naloxone (a drug which reverses the effects of opiate abuse) will be given to individuals visiting custody suites that are deemed to present a high risk of overdose as part of the Welsh Government's substance misuse strategy.

Chief Inspector of Dyfed Powys Police Peter Roderick said: "Take home Naloxone has been used widely in Wales since 2009, but we are the first custody suite in Wales to offer it."

He added that the move was "a big step" in assisting with harm reduction, a key priority when dealing with drug abuse.

The trial will be a first for any police force, and for Medacs Healthcare, who will provide training for custody nurses and forensic medical examiners to enable them to recognize susceptible drug users, the signs of an overdose, and how to administer the Naloxone antidote.

Forensic Medical Examiner Dr June Picton said: "We see a lot of people coming into custody who have drug problems and the hope is that with a bit of training, family or friends of heroin users who recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose can self-administer the antidote using a 'take-home-kit',"

She added; “The evidence is there to show that it does in fact save lives and the Welsh Assembly will be monitoring how many kits have been distributed and used. In a year’s time we hope to see figures indicating that people’s lives have been saved as a result of our efforts.”

Helen Kelly, Director of Managed Services at Medacs Healthcare commented; “Medacs Healthcare is delighted to be able to support this initiative with Dyfed Powys Police. Our clinical teams are excited by the prospect of reducing risk to those patients who have drug addictions leaving custody – we see this as a tangible benefit that we can offer as Healthcare Providers and hope that the trial will ultimately contribute to the reduction of avoidable deaths”

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