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

Surrey city council moving to virtual meetings

For public hearings, people can register to speak via telephone

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

33-storey highrise proposal coming to Surrey council, first of three phases

Second and third phases include 36-storey and 31-storey towers

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Most Read