Overdose prevention program expands

Take Home Naloxone program has expanded to 70 sites which includes all Interior Health emergency departments

Interior Health Authority

As part of Interior Health’s overdose emergency response, the Take Home Naloxone program has expanded to 70 sites which includes all Interior Health emergency departments, public health centres, mental health and substance use offices as well as several community agencies.

“Drug-related overdoses and deaths are a huge concern,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Interior Health’s expansion of the Take Home Naloxone program could potentially save the life of someone’s friend, parent or child. It is part of B.C.’s comprehensive approach to address this crisis and to do everything we can prevent future tragedies.”

In emergency departments, the program is offered to patients who are being treated for an opioid overdose.  At public health centres, mental health and substance use offices, and community agencies the program is available to anyone at risk of overdose from opioid drugs. Opioid drugs include both prescription and illicit drugs such as oxycodone, morphine, heroin, fentanyl and others.

This expansion increases access to the life-saving medication, naloxone. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose by restoring breathing within two to five minutes. It improves the chances of survival while waiting for medical help to arrive. Naloxone is a safe medication that cannot be abused and has no effect on the body in the absence of opioids. It is non-addictive, does not produce a high and has no street value.

In addition to making naloxone kits more accessible, the Take Home Naloxone program also provides training on how to prevent, recognize and respond to an overdose situation.

“The program not only gives those at risk free naloxone kits, it also provides an opportunity to offer information on how to prevent an overdose from occurring in the first place by educating clients about factors that can increase the risk of overdose,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, Medical Health Officer. “For example, one of the things we tell people is that if they haven’t used a drug for a while their tolerance or response to that drug can change and that puts them at greater risk of an overdose.”

The training also offers practical overdose prevention tips such as always starting with a small amount of the drug, avoid mixing different drugs, and avoid using alone. Crucial life-saving steps including recognizing the signs of an overdose, putting someone in the recovery position, how to perform rescue breathing, and administer naloxone as well as the importance of getting emergency medical help as soon as possible are also covered.

The Take Home Naloxone program is provided in collaboration with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.  Approximately 1670 naloxone kits have been distributed across Interior Health since the program first began in August 2012. Reports indicate at least 180 kits have been used to reverse an overdose.

The Take Home Naloxone program is specifically for those at risk of an opioid overdose.  A list of Take Home Naloxone sites is available on the Interior Health website. Friends, family members and others who wish to carry naloxone are encouraged to purchase a kit from local pharmacies – a prescription for naloxone is no longer required.

All of the initiatives support the work of the newly formed Joint Task Force on Overdose Response. Headed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall and Director of Police Services Clayton Pecknold, the task force will provide expert leadership and advice to the Province on additional actions to prevent and respond to overdoses in British Columbia. The actions also align with recommendations identified by the BC Overdose Action Exchange.

 

Just Posted

Hockey Days in Clearwater have begun

There’s more stuff coming up, so check out the community events and North Thompson Sportsplex

UPDATE: Hwy. 5 open south of Blue River following ‘vehicle incident’

Social media reports say a semi-truck lost its load

This morning’s road conditions

Watch for slippery sections on much of Highway 5

Editor, The Times:

District of Clearwater invites local organizations to participate in Hockey Days

Playing Pickleball could be your New Years resolution

Pickleball is instrumental in helping with both physical and mental health

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob‘ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Widow’s petition demands mandatory training for truckers

Truck driver Stephen Babij was killed in a head on semi truck collision on Highway 1 in 2017

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Man pulls over to help injured owl, gets hit by SUV

Chase RCMP say owl flew away while they were on scene

Most Read