Ness Creek offers naloxone training for festivalgoers

Organizers say offering naloxone training at this year's Ness Creek Music Festival just makes sense.

Naloxone stabilizes people suffering from opioid overdose

For the first time, organizers of the Ness Creek Music Festival will be offering workshops on naloxone, a powerful antidote against opioid overdose. (Nathan Jones/Ness Creek Music Festival/Facebook)

Offering naloxone training at this year's Ness Creek Music Festival just makes sense, says one of the festival's organizers.

While many staff and volunteers at the northern Saskatchewan music festival already carry naloxone with them, organizer Dylan Lambi-Raine says Ness Creek thought it would be a good idea to spread the initiative out as far as they could.

"The more people who have the training, the more people who have naloxone kits on them, the better," she said.  

Naloxone kits are increasingly seen as a powerful weapon in the battle against opioid overdoses. The kits allow people to stabilize a person suffering from an overdose until they can receive proper medical treatment.

The Ness Creek initiative is part of Safe Haven, a harm reduction program launched by the festival three years ago. The program offers a wide variety of programs — from workshops on sexual consent to free food and safe lodgings for festivalgoers.

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"We find it really important to be multipronged," said Lambi-Raine. "We offer daily workshops on important information that we believe not only the necessary community, but the community as a large, could benefit from."

Opioids, especially fentanyl, have become a major concern throughout the province as a number of high-profile overdose deaths have swept across Saskatchewan.

Last year, a regulatory change means naloxone kits are much easier for the general public in Saskatchewan to access. The drug is available as a nasal spray or as an injectible.

"If you misread the situation to somebody who actually isn't having an opioid overdose, naloxone will not harm them in any way," Lambi-Raine said. "It's just going to save people."

The training will be made available in workshops at Ness Creek on July 19 and 20. Space is limited and festival attendees are asked to sign up in advance.

The Ness Creek Music Festival will be held from July 18-21 near Big River, Sask., about 110 kilometres northwest of Prince Albert.


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