Free kits available to those at risk of opioid overdose
As part of Saskatchewan’s expanding Take-Home Naloxone (THN) program, THN kits will be available in Swift Current starting November 28, 2017. The program is being launched by the Cypress Health Region in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
The THN kits will be available free of charge to individuals at risk of an opioid overdose. Along with the kit, education and training is provided on overdose prevention, recognition and response, including how to administer naloxone. Training will also be available to those who may witness an overdose, such as family members or friends.
Penni Caron, Director of Mental Health and Addictions for Cypress Health, said the aim is to save lives through education and access to the kits themselves.
“If you or someone you know is using opioids such as heroin, morphine and fentanyl, it’s important to be aware that resources like the Take Home Naloxone kit is available,” she noted.
Naloxone is an antidote to opioids such as fentanyl, morphine, heroin, methadone or oxycodone. When administered properly, naloxone can restore breathing to an individual experiencing an overdose. Naloxone is already in use in Saskatchewan emergency departments and by paramedics in emergency situations to treat an opioid overdose.
Anyone witnessing or experiencing an overdose should immediately dial 9-1-1.
Fentanyl is an opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, oxycodone or morphine. It is a prescribed painkiller that is often added to illegal drugs without people knowing. Overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl have been rising across Canada.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health is providing $50,000 this year to fund THN programs across the province. THN programs are available in the Saskatoon, Regina Qu’Appelle, Prairie North, Sunrise, Prince Albert Parkland, Five Hills, Sun Country, Heartland, Keewatin Yatthe and Cypress health regions.
Individuals interested in obtaining a kit or training, should contact the Cypress Health Region’s Mental Health and Addictions Centralized Intake Team at 1-877-329-0005.