Take-home kits to treat opioid overdoses now available in Prince Albert health region
Kits offered in 5 Saskatchewan health regions
The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is now providing take-home naloxone kits.
Naloxone is used to treat opioid overdoses from drugs such as fentanyl, morphine or heroin. The health region with provide the kits free of charge.
The kits will be available through Access Place at 101 15th Street E. in Prince Albert, Sask., to anyone considered at-risk of an opioid overdose.
The health region will also provide training sessions on how to properly administer naloxone in the event of an overdose. The training session must be undertaken before a kit is released to an individual.
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Dr. Khami Chokani, a medical health officer for the health region, said in a media release that the kits are not a replacement for immediate treatment by a medical health professional when it comes to a potential overdose. Instead, he said the best thing to do is to call 9-1-1 and use the kits to "buy some critical time for first responders" to treat the overdose.
The naloxone kits are available in four other health regions in the province: Saskatoon, Regina-Qu'Appelle, Sunrise and Prairie North.
The kits come amidst a rise in overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl use throughout the country. Fentanyl, which is said to be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, morphine or oxycodone, can be fatal in the smallest of doses.
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Across the five regions that provide the take-home kits, 112 have been given out so far, said a health ministry spokesman.
The provincial government will provide $50,000 to the five regions to fund the kits in 2016-17.