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Personal Stories


Here you’ll find participants’ accounts of responding to overdose and the use of take-home naloxone. The people and stories were carefully selected to highlight diversity in backgrounds and experiences. While this website is not able to tell every possible story of overdose and take-home naloxone in Australia, it can show just how different people and their experiences are. In the stories can be found details of the many important concerns and circumstances our participants negotiated in saving lives in the community.

Importantly, this section does not include the experiences of all participants in the age or gender range selected. As it focusses on personal experiences of overdose and take-home naloxone, participants who had not encountered overdose or used naloxone do not appear. Overall, 26 of the 46 people who consume opioids are included. The remaining 20 had not encountered opioid overdose or in one case was not able to recount such events in enough detail to create a story for the site.

The stories presented here rely on participant reports of overdose. Some experiences may not conform to medical definitions of overdose, and some responses described may not reflect medical advice.

While these narratives were written from the interview transcripts and rely on participants’ own words, some aspects have been paraphrased to improve coherence and readability. In making these changes we have worked hard to remain faithful to the original meaning and intentions. Some experiences may also be presented in other sections of the website, using more detailed quotations.

Adele describes an occasion when she took heroin for the first time and overdosed.
Andrew describes an occasion when his friend Thomas revived him using the take-home naloxone kit Andrew always carried in his backpack.
Bobbi describes an occasion 10 years ago when her husband overdosed in their home.
Dylan describes an occasion when he came across his friend Janette lying on the pavement of an outdoor shopping strip.
Emma describes an occasion when she revived a young man, Dom, with naloxone she got from her doctor.
Fraser describes an occasion when he was young and had just been released from jail.
Gabrielle describes an occasion when she revived a man she hadn’t met before.
Ghassan describes an occasion when he overdosed in his bathroom at home.
Jake describes an occasion when he took some oxycodone with friends and overdosed.
Jamie describes an occasion last year when her then partner Josh overdosed at his mother’s house in a rural area.
Julia describes an occasion when her late friend Ella took some heroin and overdosed.
Julian describes an event that took place over 20 years ago. Julian and his friend Duane were consuming heroin together at a friend’s house.
Karen recounts a time when she gave take-home naloxone to a friend, Patricia, who overdosed in front of her.
Kate describes an occasion when her ex-partner Adam overdosed at her home.
Lance describes an occasion when he revived Ben, a young man who often overdosed, by injecting him with take-home naloxone.
Lenny recounts a time where he came across a man who had overdosed in a Melbourne street. A group of people were present, but Lenny felt they were not responding to the emergency effectively.
Lewis describes an occasion when he overdosed in his parents’ bathroom after returning from a heavy drinking session at a pub.
Mark describes a night he spent at a party looking after his friend Nathan, who he was worried was overdosing.
Russell describes an occasion when his friend Luca revived him. They were taking heroin together under a bridge.
Shelley describes an occasion when she was in a car with two friends when one of them, Lisa, overdosed.
Simone describes an occasion when her friend Laura overdosed at her house.
Skye-Lee describes the most recent occasion when she overdosed.
Tony describes an occasion where he responded to an overdose at the house of a person who sells heroin.
Tye describes an occasion when he was in the park where he slept along with a lot of other homeless people, and he saw a man who was overdosing and turning blue.
When visitor Noah overdosed at the home of Valentina and her former husband (Dean), she initially panicked and felt ‘hysterical’.
Zippy describes an occasion when he used take-home naloxone to revive a young woman, Stacey, who experienced a heroin overdose at his house.