Saving lives is the right thing to do.
When advocating for the distribution of naloxone to laypeople, you sometimes meet with resistance or skepticism from decision makers, police, or even doctors and ambulance workers.
Many often want to know if this has ever been done before, if other governments support it, and if naloxone is really safe. Others are skeptical that someone who uses drugs – or any layperson – can accurately recognize an overdose and remember how to respond correctly. Some even think that making naloxone available will simply encourage people to use more drugs.
Since advocates have had to answer these questions time and again, on this page are some materials that may help you respond to your critics. Included here are examples of supportive policy statements, basic information demonstrating that naloxone is the medication for reversing opioid overdose and that it’s safe to use outside of the hospital, and responses to those common questions about whether distributing naloxone to drug users is really a good idea.
Even if you face critics, don’t be deterred. Saving lives is the right thing to do, and with persistence, strategic advocacy, and ongoing documentation of your work, skeptics will eventually understand that these programs save lives.