Taxi drivers

Taxi drivers in central Edinburgh will carry naloxone to help people suffering from drug overdose

Drug Policy Minister Angela Constance welcomed the move, involving Central Taxis drivers, saying it would save lives.

The taxi company is Edinburgh’s largest taxi operator, with 36 of their drivers having already agreed to take the necessary training to administer the drug, allowing them to transport it in their vehicles.

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But since taxi drivers can cover large areas in the course of their work, it is thought they may come across someone who has overdosed before an ambulance is called.

Julie McCartney, Scottish Ambulance Service’s Drug Harm Reduction Manager for the East of Scotland Region, said the service was “delighted to be working with Edinburgh Central Taxis and our local partners, to raise awareness public about the importance of being able to identify an overdose. , administer naloxone and call 999 for an ambulance”.

She said: “This is part of a wider catalog of Scottish Ambulance Service work to maximize all opportunities to help those who use drugs access treatment and support directly from the scene of an emergency.”

And Murray Fleming, Corporate Secretary of Central Taxis, said: “It’s a great campaign. Our drivers are out and about 24 hours a day and really are the eyes and ears of the town.

Emergency services already provide treatment, and now taxi drivers will too.

“We had a terrific initial response from drivers who signed up to take the training, carry naloxone and play their part in the Stop The Deaths initiative.

“We already provide a rescue service for the NHS and the ambulance service in Edinburgh and we see ourselves as the fourth emergency service.”

Ms Constance said: “I welcome this joint initiative by the Scottish Ambulance Service and Edinburgh taxi drivers which will save more lives through the use of naloxone emergency treatment.”

She added: “The response to the Stop The Deaths campaign has been very encouraging and as well as saving lives we hope it has helped to reduce the stigma of those at risk of overdose and those with problematic use. drugs more widely.

City taxi drivers will now do the processing.