Castlegar residents get Naloxone information session
A Naloxone information session Wednesday at the Community Harvest Food Bank and Drop-in Centre saw roughly 25 people showing up to learn how to use the kits to help save someone in an opioid-overdose situation.
(Naloxone is an injectible drug that reverses the effect of opioids such as fentanyl and has proved very successful if administered quickly enough. The provincial government has now distributed it to police and paramedics as a front-line option for dealing with the drug-overdose crisis currently unfolding in B.C.).
Food Bank manager Deb McIntosh said the session was presented by Mental Health and Substance Use Out Reach, and that most attendees went home with a kit of their own. McIntosh said she really appreciated learning about the life-saving drug and how to administer it.
“Let’s hope we never have to use it, but at least we are prepared for it, if it does happen,” she said. “Very rarely am I every going to be in a situation where people are using drugs, but on the off chance that something does happen, at least I’d know what to do.”
She said she doesn’t want to see drug use normalized … but she’s also aware that “Just say no” simple does not work.
“My desire for them to live is much, much stronger than my disapproval,” she said. “If you can easily learn something that might save a life, you just can’t go wrong – why not be prepared?”
She did, however, caution drug users against perceiving the kit as a free pass to safely use illicit drugs.
“It’s not like the kit is a be-all-and-end-all, either,” she said. “People are still dying with Naloxone kits. There’s no such thing as safe (illegal) drug use – but there is safety in numbers. Never use alone, or the kit won’t do you any good.”
You don’t have to identify as an addict or even give your name to get access to kits, she said.
Kits are available through Ankors, or Castelgar Mental Health and Addictions services click here or call 250-304-1846).