I AM EVIDENCE THAT NALOXONE WORKS.

My recovery began nine years ago. I had overdosed, an ambulance was called and Naloxone was used to save my life. I guess you could say that I was a ‘chaotic opioid user’. I was prone to overdose situations, often because of poly drug use. There have also been occasions in my life when I have overdosed and been left to chance and it was just sheer luck that I survived.

I know of many who have not been so lucky and some, like me, who would not be here today if Naloxone hadn’t been available at that time and place.

My life is full now. I am passionate about my work in advocacy, training and consultancy and I am currently in the process of relaunching our local mutual aid collective.

I am evidence that Naloxone works. Naloxone saved my life and kick started my recovery, yet it’s still a postcode lottery as to who will be saved and who will be left to chance. Hundreds of people who inject drugs accidentally overdose every year and don’t make it.

Like me, they could be here today.

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You can find out more information about naloxone and help us to campaign for a national programme in England on the Naloxone Action Group (NAG) England website.

WE ARE A HAPPY FAMILY WITH A GOOD LIFE THANKS TO NALOXONE

My son was just 3 years old when his father died from alcohol poisoning. It was a hard time for all of us, especially my son.

Life moved on and I met my current partner. I didn’t know that he was using until I got the call from the hospital. He had accidentally overdosed on heroin and valium and was technically dead. Three shots of Naloxone saved his life. I’d never heard of Naloxone before. It doesn’t bear thinking about what life would be like if it hadn’t been available that night. Addiction is a terrible illness and accidental overdoses do happen. I believe that Naloxone should be made available to everyone and anyone who is living with drug addiction. I would happily be trained to administer it.

My partner is in recovery now and has been clean for over 3 months. We are a happy family with a good life, thanks to Naloxone.

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You can find out more information about naloxone and help us to campaign for a national programme in England on the Naloxone Action Group (NAG) England website.

ADDICTS CAN RECOVER. WE DO FEEL AND WE ARE ENTITLED TO LIVE

I am an addict. I have used drugs and alcohol for most of my life. It was in May last year when calamity hit. I had been abstinent from opiates for 18 months and was just smoking cannabis and using a rare valium when I could get it. I couldn’t get any cannabis that day but I managed to get some valium and popped the lot and then I did something insane, I injected heroin.

As soon as the barrel on the syringe was down I was gone. Luckily I wasn’t using alone and my friend called the paramedics. I remember briefly coming round after the first shot of Naloxone in the ambulance and then again after the third shot in hospital.

I see Naloxone as my miracle, my chance to be a good parent, partner, son and brother. Without this drug I wouldn’t be here writing this. I am now totally abstinent. I have started a degree course at the Open University, I’m a recovery coach and I’m taking my driving test soon. I have an amazing sponsor and for the first time in my life I feel that I have the power to choose whether I use or not, rather than how long I can hold out for.

I want to train to administer Naloxone and campaign for all governments to fund this wonder drug. Addicts can recover. We do feel and we are entitled to live.

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You can find out more information about naloxone and help us to campaign for a national programme in England on the Naloxone Action Group (NAG) England website.

HE KNEW WHAT TO DO, HE HAD BEEN TRAINED TO ADMINISTER NALOXONE JUST A FEW MONTHS BEFORE

On the day that I’ll never forget, something felt wrong from the start. At this point in my life I would describe my heroin habit as ‘raging’. Selling and smoking smack was my daily routine. On this day, my supplier was late, which had never happened before. I gave up waiting, scored elsewhere and injected. Maybe it was because it was stronger gear, maybe it was because it had been a while since I’d injected. I don’t know. I overdosed.

There were guys in the house at the time waiting for the dealer and one of them was my good friend who is now also my life saver. As soon as I went down he knew what to do, he had been trained to administer Naloxone, just a few months before. By the time the paramedics arrived I was already conscious. I was still advised to go to hospital as Naloxone is only a temporary reversal. I would never have gone in the past but this time I did and so began my recovery, my journey away from using everyday.

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You can find out more information about naloxone and help us to campaign for a national programme in England on the Naloxone Action Group (NAG) England website.

NALOXONE SAVES LIVES.

Trust me, I know because Naloxone saved mine and more than once.

I have been given Naloxone 3 times in my life when I have overdosed on heroin. Like me, most addicts don’t mean to overdose but unlike me not everyone has been so lucky. The last time I overdosed my mum saved me too. The paramedics later said that I was 30 seconds from being pronounced dead. It was mum who told them that I could have overdosed on heroin and they administered Naloxone and it got my heart beating again straight away.

I’m clean now and fulfilling my dream as a writer. If I had one wish it would be that Naloxone was available to people on the street with the training to administer it.

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You can find out more information about naloxone and help us to campaign for a national programme in England on the Naloxone Action Group (NAG) England website.

Oscar’s Story

I grew up believing that I was an ‘accident’. Mum already had two kids who had left home before I arrived. Mum treated me like I was the best thing that had ever happened to her. I should have felt lucky being so loved but I just felt trapped and overwhelmed and the more caring she was the more I fought against her. I was angry that I had a granny for a mum and didn’t have a dad. I started using drugs when I was about 14. It wasn’t because I wanted to take drugs it was because I wanted to ‘fit in’.

It was when mum was in the hospice that I finally found out about my dad. He had died of a drug overdose when mum was in labour with me.

I guess I’m lucky that I had the time to make it up to mum and be the son she deserved before she died. I owe Blenheim for that.

I’m now a mentor at one of Blenheim’s young people projects. I meet lots of young people who also just want to ‘fit in’ to something or someone, like I did. I believe that I’m helping them to ‘fit in’ to something good.

Oscar's story

Ian’s Story

Giving up cocaine was hard enough to imagine but I thought I’ve have more chance of dating Beyoncé than living without cannabis. I try not to think too much about the horrible things I’ve done and the people I’ve hurt along the way. Let’s just say that I was a nasty piece of work.

I’d always been mum’s favourite but even she couldn’t cope with me anymore. I know that telling me to leave home was the hardest thing she’s ever done, but she had no choice, I was messing up everyone’s life and she had to stop putting me first.

The more sofas I slept on the more drugs I used until my mate overdosed and didn’t recover. Instead of seeking out another mate’s sofa I went to Blenheim.

That was 8 months ago.

Blenheim were patient with me and then I was ready and I talked and listened and didn’t stop. You wouldn’t recognise me now, I’ve got a place at Uni and me and mum are back on track. I’m just waiting for that call from Beyoncé.

Ian's story