Understanding the impediments to uptake and diffusion of take-home naloxone in Australia

THN team

Dr Adrian Farrugia, Dr Renae Fomiatti and Professor Suzanne Fraser: part of the project team

THN_Logo Mockup_v3

Project Team

Professor Suzanne Fraser, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

Dr Robyn Dwyer, La Trobe University/National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Professor Paul Dietze, Burnet Institute

Dr Joanne Neale, King’s College, London

Professor John Strang, King’s College, London

Research Staff

Dr Adrian Farrugia 

Dr Renae Fomiatti 

PhD candidate

Ms Nyssa Ferguson


Take-home naloxone is available in Australia both on prescription and over the counter, yet distribution to people at risk of overdose or connected with those at risk is weak. Programs providing take-home naloxone to opioid consumers exist in some Australian cities, but uptake remains minimal. The reasons for this are not well understood. This qualitative project will collect the stories of people who consume opioids, prescribers and pharmacists to better understand the issues surrounding take-home naloxone. It will then produce a high quality online resource presenting rigorously collected and analysed personal stories of opioid overdose and naloxone administration, organised thematically and narratively in a range of formats. The aim is to inform those affected by overdose, professionals and the wider Australian community about take-home naloxone, to improve understanding of the issues relating to take-home naloxone, its distribution and use, and in doing so save lives.

Advisory panel 

Jane Dicka, Harm Reduction Victoria

Elizabeth Carrigan, Australian Pain Management Association

Tom Lyons, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Angela Matheson, New South Wales Ministry of Health

Angelo Pricolo, Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Dr Marianna Jauncey, Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

Trevor King, Uniting Care ReGen

Professor Adrian Dunlop, Hunter New England Area Health


Farrugia, A., Neale, J., Dwyer, R., Fomiatti, R., Fraser, S., Strang, J. & Dietze, P. (2019). Conflict and communication: Managing the multiple affordances of take-home naloxone  administration events in Australia. Addiction Research & Theory.

Farrugia, A. (2019). Commentary on Elliot et al. (2019): How stigma shapes overdose revival and possible avenues to disrupt it. Addiction, 114 (8), 1387-1388.

Farrugia, A., Fraser, S., Dwyer, R., Fomiatti, R., Neale, J., Dietze, P. & Strang, J. (2019). Take-home naloxone and the politics of care. Sociology of Health and Illness, 41 (2), 427-443.

Fraser, S., Farrugia, A. & Dwyer, R. (2018). Grievable lives? Death by opioid overdose in Australian newspaper coverage. International Journal of Drug Policy, 59, 28-35.

Farrugia, A., Fraser, S. & Dwyer, R. (2017). Assembling the social and political dimensions of take-home naloxone. Contemporary Drug Problems, 44 (3), 163-175.

Current activities

Overdoselifesavers.org launched