A take-home naloxone kit program is launching in North Battleford to help prevent overdose deaths.
Naloxone is an antidote to opioids including fentanyl, morphine, heroin and oxycodone. It can restore breathing to someone experiencing an overdose when properly administered.
Kits with naloxone and syringes are available free of charge at the Battlefords Sexual Health Clinic on Thursdays between 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m beginning on Oct. 20.
Program lead with the Prairie North Health Region, Merle Nightingale. said the program is mostly a pre-emptive measure in Saskatchewan.
“Generally in the province this is a proactive program as other provinces are seeing greater numbers,” she said. “Even one (overdose) is too many but the numbers haven’t been as high as they have in other provinces yet. We want to be ready and teach to prevent overdoses.”
Nightingale said people who take a kit and those with them must undergo a short training exercise to learn about overdose prevention. The training prepares participants to recognize and respond to an overdose and teaches them how to administer naloxone.
“This is available to individuals who consider themselves at risk for an opioid overdose and also their family members or friends can receive the training as well, but the kit is only issued to the person who is at risk,” she said.
The program was launched by Prairie North in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre and Battlefords Sexual Health Clinic.
“We want to be ready for an increase in overdoses and to provide prevention information to actually prevent the overdoses before they happen as well if they do happen, be able to help out with a naloxone kit,” Nightingale said.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @mattjkelly2.
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