With the province making a dedicated push to get Naloxone out to first responders and those working on the frontlines with those struggling with addiction who live on our streets, I was very keen to get some training and ensure I have a kit as part of my own first aid equipment.
One of my son’s close childhood friends is also struggling with addiction and lives with his girlfriend who has a Heroin addiction. I reached out to the mother of this young man and asked if she would like to join me as she could pass along the kit to her son. We connected with Heather Hobbs of Aids Vancouver Island and spent an hour at their agency walking through the kit and how to administer the Naloxone. It was an eye opening hour not only to learn the ins and outs of administering Naloxone, but also to get a sense of what agencies are dealing with on the street level in terms of the number of overdose incidents. She shared that a week doesn’t go by where the staff are not administering Naloxone. She also talked about the importance of getting safe injection sites up and running as soon as possible and shared that many people will come to “use” substances in their stairwells just because they know someone may come upon them and help if they overdose.
There is no question that the use of Naloxone is saving lives. Included in the kit are three ampules of this life saving drug and there is no risk to injecting individuals with all three of the ampules if someone does not respond to the first or second injection. In speaking with the RCMP regarding my son’s passing, they mentioned that if they come upon an individual who is unconscious and they are uncertain if it is an overdose, they will still use the Naloxone nasal spray with no adverse consequence. It was an informative hour and I left feeling very committed to getting the word out regarding Naloxone and encouraging individuals, middle/high schools, nightclubs, etc. to have this as part of their first aid kits.
Naloxone kits can be purchased for roughly $50 at major pharmacies without a prescription and you can request that a pharmacist give you a run through on how to use it.