'Be prepared': Winnipeg pharmacy gives naloxone training

If someone is overdosing because of fentanyl, a group of Winnipeggers will now know how to administer naloxone, the life-saving drug.

Brothers Pharmacy owner says they want to get the kits into as many hands as possible

A group of Winnipeggers received training on how to administer naloxone on Friday night. (CBC)

If someone is overdosing on fentanyl, a group of Winnipeggers will now know how to administer naloxone, a life-saving drug.

Brothers Pharmacy, located on Selkirk Avenue, hosted the naloxone training night on Friday at 441 Main.

"It's very important to get as many people out there with the kits as possible," said pharmacy owner Michael Watts.

Watts said they decided to do the training after a string of deaths in Winnipeg related to the drug.

Brothers Pharmacy owner Michael Watts says it's important to get as many people out there with naloxone kits as possible. (CBC)
There were at least seven fentanyl-related deaths last month. Manitoba's Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen told CBC News in November that in 2016 alone, two dozen people had died in the province with opioids in their system.

"It's just important to be prepared basically if you see someone who could be in trouble because of that or if you know someone that is currently using that this could be something that you do need to use," Watts said.

Watts, joined by pharmacy assistant Dustin Novak, demonstrated how to identify an overdose and how to administer the drug, potentially saving a life. 

The biggest challenge is getting people comfortable with administering the needle, Watts added.

"It's also really important to know that if you do administer naloxone to a patient who is not in opiate [overdose], it's not going to do harm," he said.

There are two methadone clinics that run out of the pharmacy's building and there's also a needle exchange. Watts said he sees the impact the drugs can have on families and the community.

"It is sad what it does to people and their lives," Watt said.

The pharmacy demonstration cost $5 with all of the proceeds going to the Bear Clan Patrol. Around a dozen people attended.