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Four measures to strengthen overdose work



30.01.2024 - In February, the Norwegian Directorate of Health will send out its proposal on how to reduce the number of overdose deaths for consultation, as reported by Actis.no. This was also mentioned by KORUS on their website, where senior advisor Espen Freng of the Norwegian Directorate of Health reveals what to expect.


There will not be any drastic changes in the strategy. The measures mainly focus on how to meet the challenges of new drugs and painkillers, while continuing the prevention of heroin overdoses.


New measures

Freng highlights these new measures, which will be implemented as soon as possible:

  1. A new information package will clearly communicate how municipalities should best work with prevention – a municipal overdose prevention package.

  2. The subsidy scheme for overdose work, as we know it today, will be replaced by a larger subsidy scheme for municipal drug work.

  3. A new app will quickly alert about particularly dangerous drugs on the market.

  4. The competence centers in the drug field (KORUS) will strengthen their efforts against overdoses.

Surprised

The lack of clear measures against overdoses due to painkillers is explained by Freng as a need for more research and knowledge in the field.

"I am surprised," says Inger Lise Hansen, Secretary General of Actis. "Since 2016, more people have died from strong prescription medications than from heroin, and the proportion is increasing. One would think the government had more in this action package than waiting for more research."


Monitoring cocaine development

The announced overdose warning system, in the form of an app, is planned to be launched in 2025. The purpose is to quickly spread warnings about particularly dangerous drugs. The app is also intended to contain first aid advice.


Freng says that they also need to monitor the cocaine environment.


"Even though they are not directly related to overdoses today, we know that dangerous substances can be mixed into the drugs, as we have seen abroad. This is serious, and therefore drug analysis is important," says the senior advisor at the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

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