The simple nasal spray that's being used to save lives in Somerset

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A simple nasal spray is being used to save the lives of people in Somerset.

Somerset Drug and Alcohol Project has partnered with Avon and Somerset Police to use the spray to stop people from overdosing on opioids.

The spray acts as an easy way to administer naloxone - a lifesaving medication that helps to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.

Trained offices are now able to use the nasal spray to buy time when waiting for ambulance services to arrive.

Drug-related deaths in the UK have soared over the past decade, rising by 81% between 2012 and 2021.

Trevor Watts, from Taunton, struggled with opiate addiction for more than 20 years. His life was saved by the drug.

He said: “I know a lot of people who have died, but my life has been saved by this drug on several occasions.

“During my years of being addicted to heroin, I have gone over on several occasions. I don’t remember a lot about those situations but have been told how authorities were called out and how being given naloxone saved my life. 

“There are countless people who have died and could have been saved if naloxone were around more. 

“The more it is in the communities and more people carry it on them, the more it can help. It might be the point that changes them and gives them a chance to try and get clean.”

Trevor is now spreading awareness on what naloxone can do.

Police officers can now train in how to administer the Naloxone spray.

Superintendent Dickon Turner, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Police are working with partners to reduce the harm from drugs in our communities, including disrupting county lines in Somerset so it makes complete sense for police officers and PCSOs to be in a position to save someone’s life by carrying naloxone as well. 

“Just like some other forces in the UK, we are asking for front-line staff to volunteer to carry naloxone spray which is being provided free by our local drug and alcohol support agency.”