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Miracle spray saves life of drug overdose victim

13 January 2022

A police officer equipped with a miracle spray has saved the life of an overdose victim in Carmarthenshire.

PC Gareth Rees, one of several officers across the force carrying nasal spray Nyxoid in a trial launched on Wednesday, 1 December, was called to a man in an intoxicated state shouting for help on the floor in Llanelli late at night earlier this month.

By the time PC Rees arrived the man was unconscious and his breathing was laboured.

Identifying this as a sign he was suffering an overdose, PC Rees administered the spray.

“Within five to ten seconds he was conscious,” said PC Rees.

“It’s quite amazing how it works so quickly, it definitely made a difference for this man.”

The man involved has been positively dealt with and referred to Dyfed Drug and Alcohol Service (DDAS) (opens in new tab) who have been commissioned to support Dyfed-Powys Police (opens in new tab)

The trial is operating in Llanelli, Aberystwyth, Pembroke Dock and Llandrindod Wells for six months, with the ambition of reducing deaths from drug overdoses.

APB Prevention and Population Health Improvement Strategy Manager at Hywel Dda UHB, Craig Jones, said, “Response officers are quite often the first on scene to an overdose and by providing them with Naloxone, they will be in a position to save lives.

"Numbers of drug related deaths in Hywel Dda have fallen since 2020 and we see this as another initiative to keep the data moving in the right direction. The fact that an officer utilised his training and used Naloxone to save a life just 9 days into the trial is very rewarding and shows the impact this initiative will have."

Chief Inspector Christina Fraser, who is leading the pilot, said the force had been using Naloxone within custody suites for many years but the introduction of the Nyxoid nasal spray, meant officers could easily use it whilst out on patrol. 

She added: “We have trained officers on a voluntarily basis to carry and utilise Nyxoid spray as part of our first aid provision.

“We went live with the pilot on 1st December and I am pleased to report that we have been notified of its first successful use.

“It is really heartening to see the use of Nyxoid making a difference in saving peoples’ lives.

“I am extremely proud of those officers who have put themselves forward to be trained in the use of and carry Nyxoid and grateful to our partners DDAS, Kaleidoscope, Hywel Dda and Powys Health boards for their support on this trial.”