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Tye helps revive a man in a park

Preferred Name: Tye

Gender: Male

Age: Mid 30s

Who is Tye?

Tye lives with his dog in the inner west of Sydney. He describes his ethnic background as ‘Australian’: like both his parents, Tye was born in Australia. Tye volunteers at his church and is currently studying at TAFE*. He has two young children and his primary source of income is a Commonwealth Newstart Allowance*. Tye supports open access to naloxone ‘in principle’ but feels everyone should have training on how to use it properly.

Brief Outline:

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. He called an ambulance and his friend put the man in the recovery position. They both stayed with him while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. The paramedics gave the man naloxone, reviving him within minutes. Fifteen years ago, Tye himself overdosed, causing him to fall and seriously injure his head. He woke up in hospital 12 hours later, having been revived with two doses of naloxone. Since then, he regards himself as a cautious heroin user, taking only small doses at a time.

(Note: strong language)

Tye's Story:

About eight months ago, I was in a park where a lot of homeless people, including myself, slept at the time. As my mate and I walked out of our section, we heard somebody in the section next to us saying ‘mate, wake up, mate, wake up’. As we came around the corner, we saw a guy going blue. I called an ambulance straight away, and my mate put him in the recovery position because he was still breathing, just very shallow breaths. We were just trying to keep him as conscious as possible until the ambulance got there.

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics asked us what had happened. We told them we thought it was a possible overdose, they examined him and said ‘yeah, we agree with you’, and gave him some Narcan [naloxone]. He woke up within minutes and seemed okay.

I’ve overdosed once myself. It was in a park about 15 years ago. I took some heroin and stood up, and my friend says I turned really, really white and was staring into deep space when I fell flat backwards and hit my head on edging of a garden bed.

I had literally split my head open, but I can’t remember anything about the experience, up until waking up about 12 hours later in a hospital bed. I was told I’d been given two doses of Narcan, and they’d been planning to give me a third dose if that didn’t work.

Sitting in the hospital bed, I remember seeing a warning on the TV news about lots of heroin overdoses in the area. I think a new batch had hit the street, but nobody had really known about it at the time. I’d used the same amount as usual.

I was quite young at the time and although I didn’t give a shit about myself and my life, I still had the goal of outliving my father, who’d died at 29, so I took smaller doses to make sure I didn’t overdose again. I had the realisation that I didn’t want to die yet, but I also didn’t want to give up the fun I was having. Since then I’d always rather put four or five holes in me than just one.

Tye reflected that although he was no longer likely to be around people overdosing, he wouldn’t have a problem with giving someone naloxone if it were needed. ‘[E]veryone deserves a life, don’t they? Everyone has a right to be revived, and nobody deserves to die that type of death. It’s a horrible, painful death, I believe.’


A few years ago, Tye (M, mid 30s, NSW, non-prescribed opioids) was using heroin with a friend in a park. On this occasion they had a ‘new batch’ of heroin that he hadn’t used before. According to Tye, he passed out, fell over and hit his head on the edge of a garden bed.

I was in, like, a sort of park and I [took some heroin] and stood up. I don’t know, it was weird – my friend said I just sort of went white, just really, really white and was staring into deep space, and I just fell back, just flat back, and hit my head on […] the [edge of a] garden bed. I hit my head on one of them and literally split my head open, and I think I woke up about 12 hours later in a hospital bed. I was informed that they did actually Narcan me two times […] and informed me that they were prepared to use the third one if that didn’t work.

I think that’s why my overdose has scared me that much, because it just wasn’t your average overdose of just dropping. Mine was more damage […] There was nothing different about that day. I […] actually, I think a new batch [of heroin] had hit the street, but nobody really knew about it. At the time that I overdosed […] there was just that epidemic […] I do remember sitting in that hospital bed and a warning coming over the TV on the news about heroin overdoses in the area.

For Tye (M, mid 30s, NSW, non-prescribed opioids), making take-home naloxone available means recognising that everyone has the right to life.

I believe the regulation should be that if you’re going to dispense it, you should be trained in it and you should be training the people that you’re giving it to […] Maybe once you have completed the training, you could be given a little card stating that you’re trained in it […] Like I said, everyone deserves a life, don’t they? Everyone has a right to be revived and, you know, too, nobody deserves to die that type of death. It’s a horrible […] death, I believe.