British Columbia

Overdose crisis prompts VPD officers to carry nasal Naloxone kits

The Vancouver Police Department will soon begin equipping front-line officers with nasal Naloxone kits in an effort to reduce accidental opioid overdose deaths.

First responders hope nasal Naloxone will reduce opioid overdose deaths

The nasal spray version of naloxone was developed by Adapt Pharma, a Dublin-based company that markets the product under the brand name Narcan. (Adapt Pharma)

Some Vancouver Police Department personnel will soon start carrying nasal Naloxone kits in an effort to reduce the number of accidental opioid overdose deaths.

"Our front-line officers and support staff are coming into contact with highly toxic opioid drugs like fentanyl on an increasing basis," said police Chief Adam Palmer.

"It is essential that we provide our staff with the medication that would be necessary in the event of an accidental exposure to toxic substances."

Naloxone blocks or reverses the effects of opioids and is used to treat overdoses.

According to the BC Coroners Service, there's been a shocking rise in deaths from illicit drugs across the province this year. 

From Jan. 1 to June 30, there were 371 illegal drug overdose deaths in B.C. That's an increase of 74.2 per cent from the same period in 2015.

Approximately 60 per cent of the deaths involved fentanyl.