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Take Home Naloxone Program: Nine Month Review

Posted on: May 17th, 2013

Naloxone is a safe and effective medication that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose. As of August 2012, the BC Centre for Disease Control launched the BC Take Home Naloxone (THN) pilot program to provide overdose prevention and response training to people at risk and their friends and family. Only those who use opioids and complete the training are prescribed and dispensed a THN kit from a participating site. The kit contains the tools necessary to administer naloxone in the event of an overdose giving people immediate access to a potentially life-saving treatment.

In the first nine months of the program, this is what we have reported back:

  • There have been 14 known overdose reversals.
  • 995 THN kits have been sent to 18 sites in 3 health authorities.
  • 248 people have completed the training and received a kit.
  • More than 400 people have been trained in OD prevention and response in BC. This included people who use drugs, their friends and family, and service providers.

Evaluation Findings

As of April 1, 2013, two focus group meetings have been held with opioid users who participated in the training, and interviews conducted with two members of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and two parents of people who use opioids.

The findings show that stakeholders support the program and program trainees felt the training session was beneficial and essential prior to receiving a kit. Parents were supportive of the program and expressed the need for greater accessibility. The two VPD officers had concerns about the program that were rooted in misconceptions about naloxone, believing a person could get ‘high’ from its use, for one. Since this time a 1-page information sheet has been produced for law enforcement in BC.