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Question for Department of Health

UIN 15636, tabled on 9 November 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Public Health England advice entitled Take-home naloxone for opioid overdose in people who use drugs, what steps he is taking to encourage local commissioners to adopt a programme of issuing MHRA-licenced take home Naloxone (a) in general and (b) to opioid-dependent prisoners upon their release; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

19 November 2015

Local authorities are responsible for assessing local need and commissioning substance misuse services, using the public health grant, to meet that need. Public Health England (PHE) supports local authorities in this work and as part of that function has provided advice on naloxone provision to commissioners for their local joint strategic needs assessments.


The commissioning of substance misuse treatment for prisoners is the responsibility of health and justice commissioning teams in ten of NHS England’s area teams, supported by a central health and justice team. The Government expects commissioners and providers of substance misuse services in prisons and in the community to work together closely in respect of prisoners being released from custody to ensure seamless transfers of care.


In addition to the advice disseminated by PHE in “Take-home naloxone for opioid overdose in people who use drugs”, the chair of the working group updating “Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management”, published an open letter in July with advice for commissioners and clinicians on naloxone.