Naloxone kits to counteract opioid overdose are available free of charge to drug users. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer agency reports more than 1,000 lives saved with naloxone

Turning Point distributes 5,855 naloxone kits

Over 1,000 opiate overdose reversals have been reported by Turning Point clients since the agency started handing out naloxone kits in July 2015.

“We’re proponents that every first aid kit should now include a naloxone kit or two in this day and age,” said executive director Stacey Carmichael on Wednesday.

A total of 1,011, reversals have been reported over the two-and-a-half years. Staff have also heard about three fatalities so far this month, she added.

Turning Point is one of the eight original agencies that has distributed free take-home naloxone kits made available as part of Alberta’s response to the rise in fentanyl overdoses and deaths.

Naloxone temporarily reverses the symptoms of fentanyl and other opioid poisonings and can keep people alive until paramedics arrive. It’s possible for a person to lapse into an overdose again once naloxone wears off so more naloxone may be required.

Kits contain instructions on how and when to administer the drug, two vials of naloxone, syringes, alcohol swab, latex gloves and a one-way rescue breathing mask. Turning Point provides training on mouth-to-mouth breathing and how to administer naloxone.

Carmichael said since July 2015 Turning Point has distributed 5,855 naloxone kits, including 199 so far this month.

“We hand out a lot, more than the average pharmacy for sure. We have individuals who use drugs accessing us. We have family members, employers, all sorts of folks are accessing kits here. That’s great. We want more people to come.”

She said kit distribution was down in December which is always the month when the demand for services declines.

“January hits and all hell breaks loose again. January, February are tough months for folks.”

She said staff have always reminded clients to take care of their needle debris. Now there’s more conversations around debris. Needle debris is a concern, however it’s not as bad as people are led to believe.

“Homeless people who use drugs actually read the newspaper and they know that people think they’re trash. Some are trying to do better.”



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Red Deerians brave the chill to spend Family Day in the new Celebration Plaza

The 2019 Canada Winter Games hub attracted a lot of parents and kids

Stettler RCMP search for suspects

Attempted theft of an ATM

Sign cost a concern for some in Red Deer

Installation complete on south end welcome signs

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Most Read