'We won't have any fatalities on our watch': The Bear Clan can now use naloxone
Nearly 30 Bear Clan Patrol members got free training on how to use naloxone at Brothers Pharmacy Thursday
The next time the Bear Clan Patrol hits the streets, its members will be armed with naloxone kits and the training to use them.
Nearly 30 members of the North End community group received a free, 20-minute crash-course in how to administer the overdose-reversing drug at Brothers Pharmacy on Thursday night.
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Bear Clan Patrol spokesman James Favel has spoken publicly about the need for his group to have access to the kits, and he said the pharmacy reached out to make it happen.
"Now with the naloxone kits, we're just better able to serve our community and that's what we really want to see more of," Favel said Thursday evening at the pharmacy on Selkirk Avenue.
"The generosity of these people here is going to make it so we won't have any fatalities on our watch."
$15 for a kit
The kits come with non-latex gloves, alcohol swabs, a one-way valve rescue breather to help administer CPR, plus instructions in French and English and two syringes with retracting needle tips.
They also come with two doses of naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.
Mike Watts, the owner and manager of Brothers Pharmacy, said the rising use of fentanyl and carfentanil in Manitoba motivated him to get the kits off the shelves and into the community.
"(The Bear Clan) showed an interest in the kits and, really, harm reduction has been sort of our M.O. as of late," Watts said."It was just really important to get these naloxone kits out and as cheap as we can."
Brothers sells the kits for $15. Watts said other pharmacies price the kits at around $60.
On Thursday, 27 Bear Clan members received training, and 20 of them purchased kits.
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"I've been saying for a long time that addiction is sort of on the back burner as something that people don't want to talk about," Watts said.
"Unfortunately there's been a lot of lives lost. That's getting the conversation going. Hopefully their loss wasn't in vain, and people are starting to take notice."
Kits are also available for free to opioid users at Street Connections on Hargrave Street.
With files from Alana Cole