Skip to content

Drug overdoses – nine saved by police

Be the first to share!
By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Drug overdoses - nine saved by police

POLICE officers may have saved up to nine lives in the region over the last year by using an emergency medicine to reverse drug overdoses.

Officers are now equipped with naloxone, which is a really effective treatment for pulling drug addicts back from the brink of death in the case of an overdose on heroin, methadone, morphine, or other opioids.

Fast-acting constables called to emergency situations have almost certainly played a part in a significant drop in drug deaths in Dumfries and Galloway.

It was reported three months ago that there were 26 suspected drugs deaths in Dumfries and Galloway in 2023 – the lowest level for five years.

The issue was discussed at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s police, fire, and rescue sub-committee last week, which was attended by police superintendents Jim McMillan and Nicola Robison.

Police Superintendent McMillan said: “I can tell you that officers have used naloxone nine times. We’ve also fed that information into our alcohol and drug partnership.

“Interestingly our officers are now carrying two naloxone inhalers each.

“Potentially, because of some of the drugs that are used, we may have to increase the ways that naloxone is administered.”

He added: “We’ve also looked at how we increase the naloxone inhalers within vehicles, so we’re exploring that as well just to maximise our provision.”

Mr McMillan also heaped praise on Dumfries and Galloway Alcohol and Drug Partnership for the proactive work being done around the provision of naloxone across the region for emergency situations.

He said: “It would totally be remiss of me if I didn’t mention the partnership, and the work that they’re actually doing to make sure that as many people in the region as possible have had (naloxone) training.

“When sitting on the alcohol and drug partnership board, it’s really impressive when you start hearing about all the various shops, libraries, and provisions elsewhere to make sure that if somebody does have an adverse reaction then hopefully we can have somebody saved.”

Figures released earlier this year show there were 26 suspected drugs deaths in Dumfries and Galloway in 2023.

That’s significantly down on the 2022 figure of 43 and the lowest annual figure since 19 were recorded in 2018.

However, three cases from 2023 are still awaiting toxicology results but the final year end figure will still be lower than the five year average.

The decline in Dumfries and Galloway bucks the national trend, with 1197 suspected drugs deaths in Scotland in 2023 compared to 1092 the year before.

Front, Moffat

12th Jul

Forever homes sought for Moffat Six - a year on

By Christie Breen | DNG24