The Naloxone Program
The Grey-Bruce Public Health Unit launched The Naloxone Program in August of 2015. This collaborative effort is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The intention of this partnership is to prevent opioid overdose and save lives.
What is naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication which is used to temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose of an opioid drugs.
Naloxone temporarily blocks opioids from binding to the receptors in the brain and body, thereby restoring breathing and preventing brain damage and death. In Grey-Bruce, naloxone will be given by means of an injection into the arm or thigh muscle or by a nasal spray. A second dose of naloxone may be necessary within three to five minutes if the overdose is not reversed within that time frame. During an overdose, other life-saving measures are also very important, such as performing basic life support and calling 911. Emergency medical care is critical as the effects of the naloxone wear off in about 30 to 90 minutes and overdose symptoms may return.
How will naloxone get to the people who need it?
Through the naloxone program, anyone who is interested and who is in a position to help someone at risk of opioid overdose can receive naloxone training. Once trained, individuals will receive a free kit which contains 2 doses of naloxone, personal protective equipment including gloves and a CPR rescue breathing barrier and instructions on how to respond to an opioid overdose.
Overdose Treatment Myths
DO NOT put the person in a bath BECAUSE they could drown
DO NOT induce vomiting BECAUSE they could choke
DO NOT inject them with anything (saltwater, cocaine, milk) other than naloxone BECAUSE this will not help and it may cause more harm
How do I get trained?
You are eligible for a free kit if you are:
- a current opioid user
- a family member, friend or other person able to help someone at risk of an opioid overdose
- a client of a needle syringe program or hepatitis C program
- newly released from a correctional facility
- anyone who can help someone at risk of opioid overdose can receive naloxone training and a kit
Naloxone kits and training is available for free at the Health Unit, Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm, no appointment or prescription needed. Training is also available at local pharmacies. To find out where naloxone is available near you search www.ontario.ca/overdose
For more information about Naloxone:
Adapted with permission from the Middlesex-London Health Unit (healthunit.com/naloxone).