Each naloxone kit has three syringes, three vials of naloxone, a pair of latex gloves, airway breathing apparatus and alcohol swabs. (Jenna Hauck photo)

Each naloxone kit has three syringes, three vials of naloxone, a pair of latex gloves, airway breathing apparatus and alcohol swabs. (Jenna Hauck photo)

In the last decade, toxic drugs have killed 11,670 people in B.C., having a Naxolone kit can save a life.

A very toxic drug supply in B.C. leads to high overdose rate

In 2021 in B.C., a record 2,264 people died as a result of the toxic drug supply and another 1,095 people have died in the first six months of 2022.

In the last decade, toxic drugs have killed 11,670 people in B.C.

Close to 10,000 of those deaths have occurred since the province declared the toxic supply a public health emergency in April of 2016.

Naloxone is a powerful tool during an opioid overdose.

Like other emergency devices and treatments such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers or EpiPens, Naloxone is used to save lives during a medical emergency.

Opioid medications are mostly used to treat pain, such as pain from an injury or surgery. Common opioids are, codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine and oxycodone. There are also non-prescription opioids, like heroin and imitations of prescription opioids that are either made or obtained illegally.

Opioids help release chemicals in the brain that can help with pain management.

READ MORE: Toxic drug alert issued for Smithers area

In some individuals, these chemicals may cause euphoria (feeling high). If a person has been taking opioids for a period of time, their body may become physically accustomed to, or dependent on the opioid, and stopping it may cause unpleasant feelings of withdrawl. Because of this reaction, opioids can be misused and sometimes cause addiction.

Naloxone is a rescue medication used to help temporarily reverse opioid overdoses. Overdoses can happen when a person take too much of an opioid. Naloxone works to block the opioid’s effect, and in most cases can help people breathe normally again.

It is important to remember that Naloxone is not a cure. It is meant to be used to provide enough time for emergency medical help to arrive. After being given naloxone, medical assistance is still needed.

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act, protects those calling 9-1-1, and everyone else present when an overdose occurs, from being arrested for possession of an illegal substance.

Naloxone kits are available through most pharmacies, and pharmacists are trained to educate people about Naloxone.

Unlike an EpiPen people can give themselves in an emergency, Naloxone is given when a person is unconscious, so it must be given by someone else.

Naloxone can save a life during an overdose, so it’s important to get a kit if you think you or someone you know may need it.In many cases, you can get one for free at your pharmacy without a prescription.

The kits are available for everyone that needs one, regardless of whether the opioid was prescribed or purchased illegally.



deb.meissner@interior-news.com

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Naloxone kits available at pharmacies. (File photo)

Naloxone kits available at pharmacies. (File photo)