Public Health Wales want naloxone kits more widely available
A DRUG which can stop people dying from a heroin overdose should be available in public places, in the same way defibrillators are according to a report by Public Health Wales.
The experts recommend naloxone kits should be more accessible and that the prescribed drug should also be reclassified as an over-the-counter medicine.
The recommendations were made in a PHW report which will be discussed by Swansea Bay University Health Board on January 30.
The report said Swansea and Neath Port Talbot had the second and third highest rates of drug misuse deaths in England and Wale
There were 208 drug misuse deaths in Wales in 2018. Around half of these were in the Swansea Bay University Health Board area, which at that time included Bridgend as well as Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.
However, the report said deaths in Neath Port Talbot had declined from a peak in 2016.
Deaths in Swansea were more variable.
The PHW report added:
"Drug misuse deaths are more common in those living in more deprived areas, in males than females (ratio of three to one), and in those over 40 years of age.
"Within those figures are trends of an increase in the number of deaths in females since 2013, and a small but significant increase in deaths in under 25s."