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Nova Scotia pharmacies to begin offering free naloxone kits to counter opioid overdoses

Free naloxone kits are being made out there at Nova Scotia pharmacies for folks in danger, or those that know somebody in danger, of an opioid overdose.

So far, 240 of the province’s pharmacies have signed on with the Take Home Naloxone Program, which begins this week.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia prepares to battle rising risk of fentanyl

The kits, which reverse the results of opioids, might be provided anonymously and free of cost.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of well beingsays this system will save lives.

“The potential  is out there for an increase in overdoses in Nova Scotia,” he mentioned.

“Naloxone does save lives. We’ve already saved lives in the last year in our existing efforts in naloxone distribution where we’ve worked with community-based harm reduction organizations.”

Strang says Nova Scotians who use prescription opioids or avenue medication which are in a powder or capsule kind are inspired to decide up a package. As properly, anybody who’s in shut contact with individuals who fall underneath these classes ought to think about having a package helpful.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia RCMP given Naloxone kits amid spreading fentanyl disaster

“There’s no need for a prescription,” Strang mentioned.

“So if any Nova Scotian thinks they are at risk, they can walk into a pharmacy, ask for a naloxone kit and they will have about a 10-minute session and walk out with a naloxone kit.”

The program is a part of the province’s Opioid Use and Misuse Framework, and was initially set to launch on Sept. 1.

Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey mentioned preparations took longer than anticipated, however that he hopes those that want the kits will now pay attention to its availability.

“We do have a map available for people to see exactly where the nearest pharmacy carrying this product is available,” Delorey mentioned.

Strang says greater than 500 kits have been distributed to pharmacies throughout the province and extra might be made out there relying on demand.

He admits the province is doubtlessly vulnerable to a higher downside with opioid dependancy and overdoses.

A graph shows the number of overdose deaths in Nova Scotia from 2011 to 2016

A graph reveals the variety of overdose deaths in Nova Scotia from 2011 to 2016

Global News

“We already have on average in the last number of years, 60 Nova Scotians dying every year from acute opioid overdose, and we are starting to see increasing amounts of illicit fentanyl and other types of drugs in the street drug scene,” he mentioned.

WATCH: Saint John police look to shield themselves from fentanyl publicity

The province stresses anybody who suspects an overdose ought to name 911, in order that first responders can stroll them via administering naloxone earlier than paramedics arrive.

Government officers are reminding Nova Scotians that the Good Samaritan Act protects Canadians who name 911 in an overdose emergency from easy possession expenses.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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