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  1. ITV Report

PSNI considering using naloxone to treat heroin addicts

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist medication used to block or reverse the effects of opioid drugs Credit: UTV

The PSNI are considering equipping frontline officers with the drug naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of opiods.

Police in Scotland the West Midlands have already adapted the technique as part of their toolkit.

Paramedics are using it more and more to bring addicts back from the brink.

The PSNI have said "any decision must consider a range of factors, and consider extensive consultation with their partners".

The need for it has been reflected by one addict's story. She was given the antidote five times in one night.

Our correspondent Sharon O'Neill spoke to her. Her name has been hidden to protect her identity.

You'd walk miles and miles if you have to to get another hit.

There's people who would sell their bodies to get another hit.

– Anonymous victim

You can walk down the street and get anything you want.

I should have been dead. I don't know what kept me alive. Maybe someone above kept me alive. I pray that they never give up on me, because I wouldn't be here today. My life has been saved enough times

– Anonymous victim

A spokesperson from the Welcome Centre has applauded the decision, saying the move would save lives.

The police could be there before the paramedics, and that time difference could be the difference in saving someone's life.

It's common sense that a blue light service should be able to deliver what is actually quite easy to administer

– Sandra Moore, Welcome Centre

From April to December last year staff and volunteers here administered naloxone 71 times. That was an increase of 39% on the year before.

Imagine if that was replicated across the police service here, the impact that could have - not only for the person whose life was saved, but for their family and friends

– Sandra Moore, Welcome Centre

Watch our report here: