Knowing the steps could be the difference between life and death
As the drug crisis continues in B.C., many people can educate themselves on the importance of using a naloxone kit.
Naloxone is a medication that quickly reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids like heroine, fentanyl and methadone.
In B.C. you do not need a prescription to acquire it.
Inside the kit is a mouthpiece to perform breaths, gloves, alcohol swabs, three VanishPoint syringes and three vials of naloxone.
Dean Uchi the Outreach Overdose Prevention Services Supervisor with The Bridge Society for Youth & Family Services, in Kelowna, said one thing to do is to start giving breaths first before moving on to the next steps. During an overdose the body stops getting signals to the brain that tells it to breathe.
“When we see the person who isn’t breathing and we don’t see movement in the chest, the next thing we do is to reach out by voice, if there isn’t any response then we’ll glove up and give them a shake,” Uchi said.
“If we get to that point where they aren’t responding to the shakes or by voice then we get ready to administer the naloxone.”
Uchi noted the clients they help who experience homelessness in Kelowna are well versed and comfortable taking kits for either themselves or for others who might be high risk around them. But he said they [The Bridge Society] continues their education in the community.
“We come across people that are just curious or might have heard of this or have family members who are involved in substance use and want to have those kits and use them to save their life.”
There is an alternative way to inject the drug for those uncomfortable handling needles.
“Another type of kit that is available at pharmacies is a nasal naloxone kit”, Uchi added.
“It’s a spray that you spray up the person’s nose and it acts in the same way and in the same speed as well.”
Kits are available at no cost to people at risk of an opioid overdose or people who might know someone who is.
All the educational resources and training to acquire a naloxone kit can be found at Toward the Heart’s website.
Published 2021-11-03 by Connor Chan
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