Hostel staff trained to reduce risk of overdose among homeless

Aspire Senior Nurse Sarah Bartle (seventh from left) pictured with delegates from Riverside at Aspire’s recent Naloxone training.
Aspire Senior Nurse Sarah Bartle (seventh from left) pictured with delegates from Riverside at Aspire’s recent Naloxone training.

A group of people who provide tenancy support for homeless people in Doncaster have been trained to administer lifesaving treatment to people experiencing an overdose, in a bid to reduce the number of drug related deaths across the borough.

Staff from Doncaster Homeless Floating Support Service, Riverside received the training in recognising the signs of an overdose, and how to administer lifesaving Naloxone, an intramuscular antidote to opiates (such as heroin), from Senior Nurse Sarah Bartle of Aspire Drug and Alcohol and Addiction Healthcare Development Manager Nina Bilby of Naloxone manufacturer Martindale Pharma, as part of Aspire’s commitment to raising awareness of overdose and its prevention for International Overdose Awareness Day (Wednesday 31 August). World Overdose Awareness Day logo

Aspire Single Point of Access Team Leader Helen Owen said: “The tragedy of overdose death is preventable if people know how to identify the signs and take the correct action.

“We recognised that staff in hostels for the homeless may well find themselves having to respond to their clients in an overdose situation and, because of the risks they present, we put together this training course to provide them with all the information they need, as well as how to administer Naloxone to counter the effects until the emergency services arrive.

“Aspire has also issued the hostels with their own supplies of Naloxone, and we hope this will contribute to reducing numbers of people dying unnecessarily from heroin overdose in Doncaster.”

Helen added: “Aspire is committed to supporting as many people as possible beat their addictions and go on to live their lives drug or alcohol free, but we also recognise the importance of reducing the harm associated with drug and alcohol use among people who are not yet ready to overcome their addiction, so we also provided hostel staff with information on our specialist needle exchange on Thorne Road, which offers advice on harm reduction to injecting drug users.”

Anyone who would like to know more about Aspire’s training programmes, or wants a confidential chat about drug or alcohol issues, please ring (01302) 730956, or visit live chat at

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on 31 August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. For more information please visit: