International Awareness Day Comes As More Support Secured To Prevent Deaths

31 August 2015

Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley today marked International Overdose Awareness Day by calling for people to remember those lost to drug overdose and the grief felt by their family, friends and loved ones.

Speaking at the Inner South Community Health Service, Mr Foley announced the service would receive $300,000 over four years to increase access to harm reduction and broader health information for injecting drug users in Prahran and South Melbourne.

In addition, the Inner South Community Health Service and the Salvation Army Crisis Centre will each receive a $30,000 one-off grant to expand their after-hours services. This is part of a total of $1.8 million in one-off grants from the Government’s $45.5 million Ice Action Plan for the 20 busiest Needle and Syringe Programs in Victoria.

Mr Foley called on federal agencies to fast-track the administrative approval of the potentially life-saving medication Naloxone through approved pharmacies to help save lives. Fatal opioid overdoses are largely preventable, and Naloxone is a lifesaving medication that is safe and easy to use in response to an opioid overdose.

The Andrews Labor Government supports increased awareness and use of Naloxone and welcomes the review by the Therapeutic Goods Administration into whether it should be made accessible at a pharmacy without a prescription.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“While ice understandably is the focus of much community attention, there is still a wider drug addiction problem that requires us to focus on modernising harm minimisation measures to save lives.”

“I’m pleased to announce this funding, which will support these life-saving organisations to reduce the risk of drug overdose.”

Almost 400 people died from preventable opioid overdoses in Victoria in 2014. Each of these were loved or cared for by another, and each is a tragedy.”

“Today is an opportunity to remember those lost and to rethink how we can prevent many of these needless deaths.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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