Drug users at risk of overdose are to be given potentially life-saving take-home medication kits as part of a new trial to tackle drug deaths.

Ambulance staff will now be able to provide Naloxone to those treated by paramedics for a non-fatal overdose who don't want to go to hospital.

The Drugs Deaths Taskforce, set up by the Scottish Government, is funding the three-month trial in which 500 kits will be provided to staff in Glasgow.

Drug users will be given training on how to use the medication, which can reverse the effect of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone can then be used in the event of any future overdose before the ambulance arrives, reducing the risk of death.

READ MORE: Naloxone used to save lives in Glasgow winter night shelter

We previously told how last year the drug was used 17 times to save people from fatal overdoses in Glasgow's Winter Night Shelter.

During a visit to the Scottish Ambulance Service in Springburn, public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “This pilot scheme is one of a range of actions the Drug Deaths Taskforce is taking to address the public health emergency Scotland faces in terms of drug-related deaths.

“We know from the evidence that having naloxone available can and does save lives, but we also know from our database that around half of those whose death was drug-related had also suffered a non-fatal overdose at some point.

“Supplying Naloxone kits through our teams of paramedics following a non-fatal overdose is just one more important action we can take to provide support to people at a time of crisis.”

The trial will be evaluated and, if successful, it could be made permanent and extended to other areas of Glasgow and Scotland.

Scottish Ambulance Service medical director Jim Ward added: ”We are committed to improving outcomes for all patients and our paramedics and ambulance clinicians often respond to emergencies to treat people who are experiencing an accidental overdose from drug use.

“This is a vital project that has the potential to help save lives – we are pleased that we will be on the front line in efforts to cut the death rate in Scotland from drug overdose, by offering this additional patient safety intervention.”