Learn to use naloxone

Nearly 1,500 people died as a result of drug overdose in B.C. last year, and while the majority of those deaths came in larger population centres, rural B.C. has not been immune to the crisis.

The South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice and the SOS Rural Healthcare Community Coalition is offering a series of free naloxone training events in the South Okanagan’s smaller communities.

Naloxone is a fast-acting antidote to the effects of an opioid overdose.

Community paramedics, RCMP and community nurses will be on hand at each naloxone training event to teach the public how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose, and to answer questions. The events also include a short presentation on harm reduction, and a personal story by a Moms Stop the Harm representative. Participants will also receive a free naloxone kit.

“Learning to administer naloxone is effective and relatively simple,” says Todd Kunz, a community paramedic in Osoyoos. “Essentially, injecting naloxone reverses the effects of an overdose, which has caused a person’s breathing to slow or stop.”

The events are taking place in:                

Osoyoos Monday, May 6, 6-8 p.m., Sonora Community Centre (8505 68 Ave., Osoyoos)

Keremeos Tuesday, May 7, 6-8 p.m., Victory Hall (427 Crowsnest Hwy, Keremeos)

Oliver Thursday, May 9, 6-8 p.m., Oliver Senior Centre (5876 Airport St., Oliver)

Princeton Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Health Fair, Riverside Community Centre

In Penticton, residents interested in learning how to use naloxone can visit the Martin Street outreach clinic. The drug is also available for free at most pharmacies.

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