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

Captain Dziadyk to end season with Oceanside Generals on high note

Qualicum Beach player is longest-serving player in team history

Petition underway to stop bylaw on homeless camping in Regional District of Nanaimo

‘Canadians are known for their meekness but this time we need to have a voice’

Qualicum Beach approves Pheasant Glen zoning amendment

Majority of residents who spoke at public hearing endorsed proposed amendment bylaw

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

Qualicum Beach council voices support for Ballenas track upgrade

Town still not ready to provide dollar amount without further information

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read