A simple spray has been successfully used on 11 overdose victims in Cambridgeshire since it was rolled out to police officers. 

First introduced to some of the force’s neighbourhood officers in April 2021, naloxone spray, which can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, has been successfully used across the county.

Neighbourhood officers in Huntingdonshire have now received the spray, which is applied through the nose, alongside those in Peterborough, Fenland and Cambridge. 

There are also plans afoot to issue them to the force’s mental health cars with the kits funded by public health.

Naloxone spray will be rolled out to neighbourhood teams in East and South Cambridgeshire if there is evidence to support its use in those areas.   

Superintendent Laura Hunt said: “One of the main functions of the police is the protection and preservation of life.

“With rates of opioid-related deaths in Britain the highest in Europe, and the national 10-year drug strategy – From Harm to Hope – calling for more priority to be given to the expansion of naloxone provision, I am delighted the force is at the forefront of this harm reduction work.

“A recent national evaluation found there were 300 successful instances across Britain of officers using naloxone, and within Cambridgeshire 11 so it is a great example of protecting and preserving life.”

Jyoti Atri, director of public health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “I am so pleased that through our partnership with the police we’ve been able to prevent deaths from opioid overdose.  

“Naloxone is a vital lifeline to users who have overdosed on heroin, and increasing access to it is an essential part of our local approach to reducing drug-related deaths.

“We are also working with the police to enable naloxone kits to be distributed to drug users at police custody suites.”

The 11 uses in Cambridgeshire are:

  1. 1 May 2021 – a man in a Cambridge park.
  2. 16 July 2021 – a man in the Queensgate Bus Station, Peterborough.
  3. 6 September 2021 – a man in the street in Peterborough city centre.
  4. 23 November 2021 – a man in Peterborough.
  5. 3 February 2022 – a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
  6. 5 March 2022 – a man in a Cambridge night shelter.
  7. 29 March 2022 - a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
  8. 4 November 2022 – a man in a Peterborough car park.
  9. 25 November 2022 – a man found in the street in Cambridge.
  10. 11 June 2023 - a woman found at her home in Cambridge.
  11. 5 September 2023 – a man in Peterborough city centre.