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B.C. pharmacists urge people to carry naloxone kits

Provincial pharmacists are urging more people to carry 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.

Provincial pharmacists are urging more people to carry naloxone kits.

The BC Pharmacy Association and the provincial government made Take Home Naloxone kits available at pharmacies free of charge last year - with the goal of supplying the kits and providing education to high-risk individuals and their support networks

One London Drugs pharmacist has seen the lifesaving potential of Naloxone first-hand. In October, London Drugs pharmacy manager, Tara Oxford, saved the life of a customer on Vancouver Island who overdosed by administering an emergency shot of the opioid overdose-reversing drug.

“Every second counts when someone is experiencing an overdose. Having overdose training and a naloxone kit can mean a second chance at life for an individual,” Oxford said in a news release.

According to the latest stats from the BC Centre for Disease Control, 1,619 overdose reversals were reported in B.C. in June 2018 alone, up over 10 per cent from 1,445 the previous year.

"One year into the program, we know that distribution through pharmacies has increased naloxone accessibly to high-risk individuals and empowered people to respond in the event of an overdose,” says Chris Chiew, general manager, pharmacy, London Drugs. “Each kit distributed represents one life potentially saved.”

Over the last year, approximately 1,800 naloxone kits have been distributed by London Drugs through its pharmacies in British Columbia. At the time of pickup, pharmacists provide step-by-step training for responding to a possible opioid overdose and instructions for administering naloxone.

“If you or a loved one is at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose, you should have a kit readily available and know how to use naloxone correctly,” urges Chiew.

Naloxone kits are available free of charge at all BC London Drugs’ locations.


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