Opioids is an umbrella term for natural or synthetic drugs that are derived from – or related to – the opium poppy. Opioids attach to receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). Opioids reduce pain signals to the brain, therefore they are analgesics (painkillers). Commonly used opioids include oxycodone, morphine, codeine, heroin, fentanyl, methadone and – of course – opium itself

Disposal of returned syringes

Sections 12(4) and (5) of the Misuse of Drugs Act (NT) states:

(4) A person who possesses a hypodermic    syringe or needle who fails to use all   reasonable care and take all reasonable precautions with it so as to avoid danger to the life, safety or health of another person is guilty of an offence.”
(5) A person who possesses a hypodermic   syringe or needle that has been used in the administration of a dangerous drug who fails to dispose of the syringe or needle in the manner prescribed is guilty of an offence.”

NSP equipment


18 & 19 gauge x 1.5 Inch

Drawing up needle. Used for steroids, methadone or other drug solution. Can also used to transfer a drug solution from one barrel to another.

21 gauge x 1.5 Inch

Largest size needle for intramuscular injection. 

23 gauge x 1.25 Inch 

Sharps Management and Needle Stick Injury

Procedure for picking up a used needle or syringe

  1. Assess the area for other possible hazards
  2. Put on gloves
  3. Place the sharps disposal bin beside the needle or syringe
  4. Pick up the needle or syringe by the centre of the barrel
  5. Place it in the bin – sharp end first
  6. Replace the lid or cap on the sharps disposal container
  7. Wash hands thoroughly
  8. Dispose of sharps disposal container at an appropriate location [check with NTAHC or the NSP booklet for the most convenient]

Things to consider

    Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is essential in responding to opioid overdoses

    In 2006, 26,400 unintentional drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, the majority of which involved opioids.  Mouth to mouth resuscitation (rescue breathing) is essential when responding to an opioid overdose because the victim is dying of lack of oxygen due to reduced or arrested breathing caused by the opioids.   Rescue breathing, if initiated soon enough, provides oxygen which is essential to saving a life by keeping the heart pumping and preventing brain damage.