Pharmacists urging more British Columbians to carry Naloxone kits – free at your local pharmacy and no prescription or ID required
One year after Take Home Naloxone Kits launched in BC pharmacies, pharmacists say they are saving lives but more awareness is critical
RICHMOND, British Columbia, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One year ago, the BC Pharmacy Association and the BC Government made Take Home Naloxone (THN) Kits available at pharmacies free of charge with the goal of supplying the kits and providing education to high-risk individuals and their support networks. Although only one part of the solution, making Naloxone accessible is important in the broader strategy to address the opioid crisis, and pharmacists say more British Columbians should equip themselves with the kits to help save lives.
One London Drugs pharmacist has seen the lifesaving potential of Naloxone first-hand. In October, London Drugs pharmacy manager, Tara Oxford, saved the life of a customer who overdosed by administering an emergency shot of the opioid overdose-reversing drug.
“Every second counts when someone is experiencing an overdose. Having overdose training and a Naloxone kit can mean a second chance at life for an individual,” says Oxford.
According to the latest stats from the BC Centre for Disease Control, 1,619 overdose reversals were reported in BC in June 2018 alone, up over 10 per cent from 1,445 the previous year.1
“One year into the program, we know that distribution through pharmacies has increased Naloxone accessibly to high risk individuals and empowered people to respond in the event of an overdose,” says Chris Chiew, general manager, pharmacy, London Drugs. “Each kit distributed represents one life potentially saved.”
Over the last year, approximately 1800 Naloxone kits have been distributed by London Drugs through its pharmacies in British Columbia. At the time of pickup, pharmacists provide step-by-step training for responding to a possible opioid overdose and instructions for administering Naloxone. The injectable drug can very quickly restore normal breathing in someone suspected of overdosing on opioids, including heroin and prescription pain medications.
“If you or a loved one is at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose, you should have a kit readily available and know how to use Naloxone correctly,” urges Chiew.
Naloxone kits are available free of charge at all BC London Drugs’ locations. Pharmacist provide free training on how to recognize and respond to an overdose and equip individuals with the skills needed to administer a Naloxone injection. No ID or prescription is necessary to obtain a kit.
ABOUT LONDON DRUGS
Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 81 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store www.londondrugs.com London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development. For more information, visit www.LondonDrugs.com.
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