Drug users urged to get naloxone kits after research shows many in B.C. don’t have one

Naloxone kits reversed an estimated 36,000 overdoses in 2018

The BC Centre for Disease Control is urging people who use drugs to get trained on how to use a naloxone kit after new research has found that many drug users in B.C. don’t carry the overdose antidote.

The warning stems from results of a 2018 survey recently published in a medical journal which found that while almost two-thirds of the 486 survey respondents carry naloxone and know how to use it, those who smoke or snort drugs were half as likely to carry the overdose-reversing medication.

The take home naloxone kit program has existed in B.C. since 2012, but was made freely available in late 2017 following a staggering number of overdose deaths. Now, the kits can be found at nearly all pharmacies in B.C.

Naloxone kits reversed an estimated 36,000 overdoses in 2018, according to an update by the ministry of addictions and mental health in February.

READ MORE: Naloxone prevented 26% of possible overdose deaths in B.C.: study

READ MORE: ‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

But the unpredictability of the street drug supply continues to put people at risk regardless of how they administer drugs, the centre said in a news release Wednesday, with five people dying every two days in the province.

“Even tiny amounts of fentanyl can lead to a life-threatening overdose for a person who does not use opioids regularly,” said Dr. Jane Buxton, harm reduction lead for the centre.

ALSO READ: ‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

“The street drug supply is highly toxic. Thankfully naloxone is widely available for people who use drugs and those who are likely to witness an overdose.”

As temperatures cool, the risk of drug users overdosing while using along increases, experts say. The BCCDC is also advising anyone who is around people who use drugs and who may witness an overdose to get trained on how to use naloxone.

To find training locally, click here.

ALSO READ: Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Share the love for your neighbourhood’: Kelowna looking for creative improvement ideas

A $1,500 grant towards a neighbourhood enhancement project is up for grabs

Man arrested following theft, threats at Kelowna store

The 20-year-old man remains in police custody and faces a number of potential charges

Crime Stoppers: Kelowna’s most wanted

John Brent Anderson is wanted on a provincial wide warrant

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival tickets now on sale

The festival takes place from Apr. 30 to May 17.

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Chilliwack widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

After two years Ryan Shtuka’s disappearance remains a mystery

The 20-year-old vanished after leaving a party in Sun Peaks on Feb. 17, 2018

Summerland junior boys basketball team off to Provincials

Tournament will be held in Langley Feb. 22 to 25

Okanagan cadets medal at Sovereign Lake biathlon

First time in 15 years championships held on home turf

Summerland’s Beer house recognized for heritage value

Building on Jubilee Road was constructed more than a century ago

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Most Read