New e-learning course on how to prevent and reverse an opiate overdose launched to mark International Overdose Awareness Day

Scottish Drugs Forum is pleased to announce the launch of a new, free to access e-learning resource, which is dedicated to raising knowledge and awareness of opiate overdoses.

The course, ‘Overdose Prevention, Intervention and Naloxone’, released today and marking International Overdose Awareness Day, gives participants the opportunity to analyse key aspects of drug-related deaths in Scotland, learn how to prevent an opiate overdose and explains what to do in the case of witnessing an opiate overdose.

By the end of the course, participants will also have an understanding of the opiate overdose reversal medication naloxone, where to obtain a kit and how to utilise it in the case of an overdose.

The concise course can be completed in around an hour, or alternatively be completed in separate sittings to provide a fully flexible learning experience.

The below video is an example of some of the content that can be found in the course:

Kirsten Horsburgh, Scottish Drug Forum’s Strategy Coordinator for Drug Death Prevention, who helped develop the content of the course, said: “Scotland has witnessed a huge increase in drug-related deaths over the past decade, with record numbers of deaths recorded for the past three consecutive years. 934 people lost their lives to preventable overdoses in 2017.

“It is a national tragedy that requires a national response and everyone needs to be able to play their part. This free to access e-learning course is a step towards increasing the knowledge base of the workforce and general public in understanding the current drug death crisis and what can be done to recognise and reverse an opiate overdose.”

David Liddell, Scottish Drugs Forum’s CEO, said: “Scotland has a long and proud history with distributing naloxone; being the first country in the world to introduce a national take-home programme in 2010 and the UK’s first peer-led training and supply programme in 2017.

“SDF is delighted to be able to support the legacy of this programme with the introduction of e-learning and it is fitting that we are able to do so on International Overdose Awareness Day – a day to remember those who have sadly lost their lives to a drug overdose.

“The course will allow for the continued dissemination of knowledge in the digital age and improve access to those who do not have the capacity or resources to attend face-to-face training.”

Scottish Drugs Forum yesterday (30th of August 2018) launched the #StopTheDeaths initiative to raise awareness of the rising toll of drug overdose deaths in Scotland and to call for a national focus on actions that can be implemented now to prevent further deaths occurring. These include improving understanding of, and access to, take-home naloxone, which this e-learning course covers.

The organisation is continuing to invest in developing a centre for excellence for training on drug-related topics, with over 40 innovative courses available from our trainers.

Alongside our face-to-face training, SDF has been supporting the development of e-learning courses on a variety of topics as it is recognised as an effective tool for individuals who may experience constraints on available time and budget.

Various audiences will benefit from the e-learning, including; people who come into contact with people who use drugs, GPs, nurses, teachers, police, housing workers, social workers and mental health workers and the general public.

The free to access e-learning course can be accessed via the SDF training website.

Click here to find out more about the #StopTheDeaths initiative and how you can support it