Letter: Public Naloxone training coming to Gabriola later in October

Tuesday, October 4 2016

Thanks for the timely piece on the Opioid crisis in this province. As the Health Promotion Educator for AIDS Vancouver Island I am the principal Naloxone Kit trainer for Central Vancouver Island. Since the spring of 2014, I have trained over 800 people on overdose prevention and the use of Take Home Naloxone, including social service and health care providers, first responders, inmates, youth-at-risk, current/former drug users and their friends and families. 

As the last year or two has demonstrated, opioid overdoses have occurred in long-term opioid drug users as well as casual users and people inadvertently exposed to fentanyl in non-opioids like cocaine, crystal meth, prescription pharmaceuticals and even marijuana. 

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist and works to reverse potentially fatal overdoses. The Take Home Naloxone program is funded through BCCDC and provides interested individuals with training and a free kit. As of April 2016, Naloxone has been available without a prescription at all London Drugs on Vancouver Island. Their kits contain, among other things, two ampoules of Naloxone at a cost of $50. Our kits are free and contain more Naloxone (which is sometimes required in the case of a Fentanyl overdose). We will also replace any lost, stolen or used kits for free. 

Cathy Fox, VIHA’s Mental Health & Addictions Nurse on Gabriola has organized for me to come and provide an Overdose Prevention and Take Home Naloxone Kit training at PHC on Thursday October 27 from 1:30-3. Anyone is welcome to attend and upon completion of the training is eligible to receive a kit. 

For more information or to register contact me at claire.dineen@avi.org or call (250) 753-2437

~ Claire Dineen, Health Promotion Educator, AIDS Vancouver Island