Central Alberta AIDS Network Society is among seven agencies across Alberta that will soon be able to provide the medication Naloxone to drug users to reverse opiate overdoses.

Overdose prevention pilot project coming to Red Deer

Central Alberta AIDS Network Society is among seven agencies across Alberta that will soon be able to provide the medication Naloxone to drug users to reverse opiate overdoses.

Central Alberta AIDS Network Society is among seven agencies across Alberta that will soon be able to provide the medication Naloxone to drug users to reverse opiate overdoses.

Executive director Jennifer Vanderschaeghe said the Overdose Prevention Program with take-home Naloxone kits is a one-year, $300,000 pilot project funded by Alberta Health in response to the increase in fentanyl overdoses.

“It’s pure health care prevention. It saves lives. It saves money,” Vanderschaeghe said on Thursday, which coincidently was International Harm Reduction Day.

She said fentanyl, a drug 100 times more potent than morphine, is becoming a bigger issue in Red Deer. In April, she was aware of six overdoses including one death.

Overdose deaths happen more often in Alberta and elsewhere than most people realize, she said.

“There are more overdose deaths every year than there are car accident deaths.”

She said Naloxone kits are a safe way to save lives because Naloxone does no harm.

“If you give Naloxone to someone who is not overdosing on an opiate, nothing bad will happen. There is no way to get high off these drugs.”

An opiate overdose causes breathing to slow down and eventually stop. Naloxone reverses the effects of the opiate to keep people breathing until paramedics arrive.

“(Naloxone) actually gets in the way of the opiate and the receptors in your brain and it stops your body from processing the opiate for between 30 to 60 minutes.”

Naloxone is injected intramuscularly and a kit contains two doses of the medication and two needles (because sometimes people require two injections), latex gloves, a rescue breathing mask and two swabs. The injection can be given through clothes into a thigh or upper arm if necessary.

Vanderschaeghe said the program will fund 3,250 kits and agencies will likely have them available in June.

CAANS staff received Naloxone training this week. Nurses on staff will train clients to use the kits.

She said the Streetworks program in Edmonton has made Naloxone available to clients for 10 years and was the first in Canada to do so.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Cruel and sadistic: Central Alberta dog rescuers believe there are dog fighting rings in province

With the increased number of stolen dogs, some central Alberta rescuers are… Continue reading

UPDATED: “I want to be your premier again”: Rachel Notley

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Mixed Nuts revue presented Saturday to kick off first Carole Forhan Theatrical Scholarship

Broadway songs, comedy skits are part of the Red Deer Players production

Skunks smells are in the air in Red Deer

Medicine River Wildlife Centre receiving calls

Camper found in good health at Pinto Lake

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue respond

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

Most Read