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.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge stabbing

The incident took place in front of The Emerson

No cause identified for gas station fire in west Maple Ridge

Recycling truck damaged after blaze started in cab

Union protests rising violence in B.C. prisons

Noon-hour event at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women

Maple Ridge’s anti-panhandling bylaw gets final OK

Council votes 6-1 to ban aggressive begging

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Most Read