Homeless and drugs agency Merchants Quay Ireland has said that one person per day dies from drug overdoses, almost twice as many as in road crashes.

Merchants Quay and the National Family Support Network will present a petition to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

It will call for greater urgency from the Government in addressing the issue of fatal drug overdoses in Ireland.

Both organisations are calling for the fast-tracking of legislation to make available a medicinal antidote to opioid overdoses.

They are also calling for the development of a comprehensive national overdose prevention strategy for Ireland.

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which reverses the effects of opiates such as heroin, and is commonly used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The Health Service Executive is currently trialing the drug with 600 drug users and their families on a pilot basis, after the success of a similar project in Wales.