Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Anti-overdose spray saves 14 lives in Dubai

Naxolone works to reverse the effects of opioid abuse such as loss of consciousness

The cans were distributed after a deal was signed between the Erada Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation and Dubai Ambulance Service. Pawan Singh / The National 
The cans were distributed after a deal was signed between the Erada Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation and Dubai Ambulance Service. Pawan Singh / The National 

A spray which blocks the effects of opioid abuse among drug addicts has helped to save 14 lives in Dubai.

Earlier this year, paramedics from Dubai Ambulance Service were given 100 cans of naxolone, which reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing and loss of consciousness.

The cans were distributed after a deal was signed between the Erada Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation and Dubai Ambulance Service to reduce overdose deaths in the emirate.

In 2017, drugs experts at the International Society of Addiction Medicine conference in Abu Dhabi pushed for naxolone to be made more widely available to health professionals in the UAE. At that time it was mainly used in hospitals.

Khalifa Al Darrai, executive director of Dubai Ambulance Service, said the collaboration would continue but the larger goal is to rehabilitate addicts and promote anti-addiction programmes.

The UAE has been making a sustained push to tackle drug addiction in recent years. In 2016, the use of illegal drugs was downgraded from a serious crime to a misdemeanour for Emiratis, while drug users were allowed to be admitted to centres for professional treatment, rather than facing jail or fines.

Updated: August 22, 2019 11:31 AM

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