Now anyone who might witness an opioid drug overdose will have access to a free naloxone kit to reverse the effects.
According to a national report on the opioid crisis in Canada, there were 2,923 opioid-related deaths across the country.
Naloxone can reverse the effects of potentially fatal opioid overdoses.
“We believe that even one opioid-related death is too many,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said in a news release. “Making Take Home Naloxone kits available free of charge to anyone who may need them has the potential to save lives.”
Naloxone kits were initially made available as a pilot project in Saskatoon in 2015.
The program was later rolled out to Regina in 2016, and over the past year, it has expanded to include a total of 15 communities. You can find a list of organizations offering the training and kits for free on the government website.
Naloxone kits are also available to buy without a prescription at 84 pharmacies in 29 communities, although a consultation with a pharmacist is required.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has provided a total of 600 naloxone kits and training to 1,900 people through the program so far.
Right now the Ministry of Health and SHA are working with various community-based organizations to expand the outreach for the free kits.
Signs of an opioid overdose include: trouble walking or talking, pinpoint pupils, seizures, slow heartbeat, shallow breathing and bluish or cold and clammy skin. It’s important to call 911 to seek medical treatment even after administering naloxone.