The solution was there for the past 40 years
Naloxone is a safe, highly effective rescue medicine for opioid overdose. It has been listed in the core list of WHO’s Essential Medicines and has been endorsed by the WHO, UNODC and UNAIDS Technical Guide for countries to set targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for injecting drug users. (5) Though inadequately only few countries like India, Thailand and China in South and Southeast Asia have included overdose prevention and management as part of their national harm reduction programme. (6)
In 2014, the WHO Community Management of Opioid Overdose Guideline recommended countries expand naloxone access and overdose management training to people likely to witness an overdose in their community, such as friends, family members, partners of people who use drugs, and social workers. (3) However, accessibility of naloxone has been limited only through hospitals in most of the countries, and it can be too late before it is administered to the person in need.
Based on the recommendations from WHO guideline and other resources, we urge Asian governments to: