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Turning Point Scotland champions overdose response success on international stage

Evidence of a Turning Point Scotland service model successfully preventing drug deaths was presented this week at the Harm Reduction International Conference 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.

Turning Point Scotland Head of Alcohol and Other Drugs, Patricia Tracey, was invited to speak on the second day of the event on Rapid Response to Near Fatal Overdose.

Key evidence from the recently released Turning Point Scotland and Simon Community Scotland Overdose Response Teams Evaluation was highlighted throughout the presentation.

The evaluation confirms how overdose awareness, Naloxone training and provision together with other harm reduction measures, directly and indirectly, prevents drug related deaths.

The recommendations within the evaluation highlight the need for every local authority across Scotland to have an Overdose Response Team service that provides: out of hours and weekend support when other services are unavailable, a rapid response within 12 hours, key assertive outreach, a focused and limited role connecting individuals who have nearly died to mainstream support through a whole system approach.

Turning Point Scotland, Head of Alcohol and Other Drugs, Patricia Tracey said: ‘‘It was a privilege to have the opportunity to share knowledge about this successful service model that Turning Point Scotland has developed and implemented with peers who work in the sector from across the globe.’’

‘‘I presented evidence showing the service model has successfully filled gaps in the current system identified by front line workers.’’

‘‘I want to acknowledge our key partners that have worked in collaboration with our Overdose Response Team services. Many lives have been saved by our services and the Overdose Response Teams will continue to reduce drug harm and prevent drug deaths.’’

 ‘‘I look forward to sharing my knowledge of innovations in harm reduction I have learnt about during my time in Australia.’’

Turning Point Scotland has made a commitment to continue to build on the evidence by funding further independent evaluations and share learnings with key partners and government to improve services and reduce drug harm. 

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