BENDIGO carers have access to free scripts for a more user-friendly version of the opioid overdose reversal medication.
It comes after Nyxoid, the nasal spray version of Naloxone, was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Bendigo Community Health Services has been providing free scripts for the injectable form of the drug for some time, and will continue to offer the option.
But mobile drug safety worker CJ Jones said the Alcohol and Other Drugs team could also offer scripts for the nasal spray, since it was no longer as cost-prohibitive.
Ms Jones said the nasal spray was simpler to administer, and might be especially preferable for those who were intimidated by the idea of injecting the medication.
She said anyone at risk of either witnessing or experiencing an opioid overdose was recommended to have Naloxone available to them in some form.
"Opioid overdose death rarely happens instantaneously, so there is time if they have Nyxoid available to reverse that and save a life," Ms Jones said.
She said it was preferable if those at risk of witnessing an overdose had access to the medication and training, as they would be in a better position to administer it.
The Penington Institute's annual overdose report last year showed a 137 per cent increase in the amount of unintentional overdose deaths in Bendigo - the second-highest increase in regional Victoria.
Bendigo Community Health Services highlighted the importance of a community approach.
Organisers of an awareness day last year said myths about drug use were masking the risks of overdose from prescription medications and alcohol.
Both illicit drugs and some prescription medications can lead to opioid overdose. Ms Jones encouraged anyone unsure of whether their medications were opioid-based to ask their doctor or pharmacist.
For more information, call BCHS on 5406 1200 or visit bchs.com.au/alcohol-and-other-drugs.
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