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Take Home Naloxone Kits Now in Pharmacies

December 21, 2017

Take Home Naloxone kits are now available at community pharmacies throughout British Columbia free to people who use opioids or are likely to witness an overdose.

Find a pharmacy in your community offering Take Home Naloxone kits.

To help save lives and prevent overdose deaths, Take Home Naloxone kits are now available at community pharmacies throughout British Columbia free to people who use opioids or are likely to witness an overdose, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy announced today.

​“Our most urgent priority is to keep people alive, so we’re dramatically expanding easy access to naloxone,” Darcy said. “Bringing a friend or a loved one back from the brink of death can hinge on people knowing how to use a naloxone kit and having access to one – and making them available at local pharmacies makes them more accessible than ever.”

About 1,900 kits have been distributed to 220 pharmacies for the first time this month, including pharmacies in the London Drugs and Save-on-Foods chains, as well as a number of independent pharmacies. Under this expansion of the Take Home Naloxone program, pharmacists provide kits free-of-charge to people who are eligible, as well as training in overdose recognition and response.

“Bringing a friend or a loved one back from the brink of death can hinge on people knowing how to use a naloxone kit and having access to one."
-  Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“Take-home naloxone kits are a key harm-reduction measure in our multi-pronged approach to combat the overdose crisis and have saved countless lives,” said Dr. Jane Buxton, BC Centre for Disease Control harm reduction lead. “Through this new collaboration, naloxone will now be readily available at more locations, making it easier for people to look out for each other and be safer.”

To receive a free naloxone kit, British Columbians can visit a participating pharmacy and talk to a pharmacist to determine their eligibility. No-cost kits are available for people who use opioids or are likely to witness and respond to an overdose. To ensure privacy, identifying information about the person receiving the kit is not tracked.

"Naloxone kits will be available at all London Drugs pharmacies across the province empowering as many individuals as possible to respond in the event of an overdose.”
- Chris Chiew, London Drugs, pharmacy general manager

“B.C. pharmacies play a significant role in being a part of the solution in the opioid crisis as one of the most accessible health-care providers in nearly every community across the province,” said Geraldine Vance, BC Pharmacy Association chief executive officer. “Pharmacists are trained, experienced and knowledgeable, not only in medication but in providing an essential health-care service to our patients and to our community. Providing the life-saving naloxone kit from the community pharmacy level to treat opioid overdose is an important step in dealing with the current crisis.”

“London Drugs is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and the BC Pharmacy Association to implement this take-home naloxone kit program across British Columbia,” said Chris Chiew, London Drugs, pharmacy general manager. “We know that distribution through pharmacies increases naloxone accessibility to opioid users, their family and friends, and people who could witness an overdose. Naloxone kits will be available at all London Drugs pharmacies across the province empowering as many individuals as possible to respond in the event of an overdose.”

All of the province’s pharmacies are being encouraged to participate. No-charge naloxone kits also continue to be available at harm-reduction sites, local health units, hospital emergency departments, corrections facilities and First Nations sites.

Read the rest of the news release on BCCDC.ca

Find a pharmacy in your community offering Take Home Naloxone kits.

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