The main purpose of the project was to undertake a 'scoping exercise' to determine the need and circumstances for a naloxone trial to be undertaken in Victoria. Specific activities involved in the project included:
· Identifying what has been done both nationally and internationally in relation to naloxone provision
· Identifying the current state of naloxone use in Victoria
· An investigation of the potential to increase access to naloxone
· Determining whether a naloxone trial should take place and, if so, what form such a trial should take, the associated costs and the circumstances in which it should be undertaken.
To facilitate these activities a review of the recent literature relating to naloxone provision to heroin users for the prevention of fatal heroin-related overdose was undertaken. This included contacting the agencies involved in naloxone distribution directly to access any 'grey' literature on the issue. Additionally stakeholders from research, the emergency medical field (both hospital and ambulance), drug and alcohol services, the health department and user groups were interviewed as key informants. These individuals provided assistance with the identification and clarification of the key issues relating to Victoria, potential problems that might result and possible solutions to these problems. Aspects of naloxone provision, including cost, shelf life and storage requirements, were examined to determine the impact such issues could have on the potential to increase access to naloxone.