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HSE launches street art that teaches the public about naloxone use

The efficacy of Naloxone has been proven internationally – the drug is currently available in Ireland by prescription and comes in two types: intra-muscular and intra-nasal

The HSE has launched new street art which aims to teach the public how to respond to an opioid overdose and how Naloxone can save lives.

Created by artist Deniece Quinn, the ‘Naloxone Saves Lives’ Street art is situated along Dublin’s Parnell Street. It incorporates a QR code which members of the public can scan with their mobile phone camera to bring them to two HSE demonstration videos, including one on how to administer naloxone.

In Ireland, opioids are the main drug group implicated in drug overdose deaths (HRB, 2019). The HSE says it is engaging with key stakeholders and partner services to expand the provision of training and the availability of naloxone to people who use drugs, their peers, family members, and frontline staff who may witness an opioid overdose.

Deaths from opioid overdoses can be averted by the provision of naloxone. It acts by reversing, within minutes, the effects of opioid overdose, keeping a person alive until emergency services arrive.


Pictured on Dublin’s Parnell Street are, from left, Nicholas Jose Diez McKenna, Ali Stone, Gillian O’Donnell, Catherine Gore and Brian Shanahan from the Naloxone Peer-Led Advisory Group for the launch of a new HSE wall mural, created to increase the public awareness of opioid overdose and new HSE naloxone resources. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids if given in time. Photo: Mark Stedman

The WHO recommends that people likely to witness an opioid overdose e.g., close friends, a partner or family member, and staff or volunteers working with people who use drugs, should have access to naloxone and be trained to administer it.

Prof Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead, HSE Addiction Services said: “This very impactful naloxone mural is intended to raise awareness amongst the whole population to the benefits of using naloxone, a lifesaving medication, in situations of opioid overdose.

“We hope that this will reduce stigma around the whole area of drug overdose and direct people towards our online information and resources via the QR code embedded in the image. I would also like to wholeheartedly thank the artist Deniece Quinn for her hard work and enthusiasm for this project.”

The launch of the street art was attended by members of the HSE, Department of Health, An Garda Síochána, National Ambulance Service, National Drug Treatment Centre, and representatives from the National Naloxone Oversight Quality Assurance Group, Irish College of General Practitioners and the UISCE Peer Led Naloxone Advisory Group.

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