We hope to increase public awareness and accessibility to the overdose-reversing medication, naloxone.
Opioid Overdose in BC
Opioid overdose (OD) is a public health concern in BC. In 2011, BC Coroner’s Service reported 275 deaths were attributed to drug overdose, a cluster of which were associated with high purity heroin. In 2009, it was reported that 70 deaths were attributed to prescription opioid medication. Even overdoses that do not lead to death can cause lifelong harms from the lack of oxygen to the brain.
Part of the Solution: Naloxone (also known as Narcan®)
Naloxone is an opioid-blocking drug that has been used to quickly reverse heroin, morphine, OxyContin®, and other opioid overdoses. It is a safe drug with minimal side effects and has been approved for use in emergency settings in Canada for over 40 years. In 2011, the BC ambulance service administered the life-saving medication 2,367 times.
Now, people in BC who are at risk of opioid overdose may take part in the BC Take Home Naloxone (THN) program to receive training and their own naloxone kit. Because the majority of overdoses happen within the company of others, a take home naloxone program greatly increases the potential for action in those critical minutes before paramedics arrive.
By working together we can decrease morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdose. Find out how you can take part in the BC pilot program.