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What does a Naloxone Kit Look Like?

Availability of Lifesaving Overdose Medication Increasing in Ontario

A guest post by Heather Lillico, Knowledge Broker in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) 

By now, most Ontario pharmacies that provide opioid agonist treatment, such as methadone and Suboxone, should have received their first shipment of free naloxone kits.Naloxone Kit

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it can be used to temporarily reverse an opioid overdose while emergency services are called. Previously, naloxone was only available at select locations throughout Ontario. Now that it’s available in pharmacies without a prescription, more people will have access to the medication. A recent news article said that Alberta agencies in Red Deer had already given away hundreds of kits.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health staff Susan Eckerle Curwood and Heather Lillico wanted to experience the process of receiving these kits, so they popped into a local pharmacy near CAMH’s Russell street site to check it out.

“The process was remarkably easy,” says Lillico, a knowledge broker in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP). “We spent about 15 minutes in a consultation with the pharmacist during which he went over signs of an opioid overdose, contents of the kit, and how to administer naloxone.”

The kit contains two vials of naloxone, ampule splitters, syringes, gloves, alcohol wipes, and a face shield for CPR purposes.

“The process was very respectful when receiving naloxone,” says Susan Eckerle Curwood, also a knowledge broker in PSSP, “which helps remove some of the stigma that prevents people from accessing this medication.”

Susan posted more information about the experience on EENet Connect, an online community where members share knowledge on topics related to Ontario’s mental health and addictions system. The topic has generated quite the discussion. Check it out here.

Related Links

Opioid Resource Hub: Naloxone

Primary Care Addiction Toolkit: Opioids

Opioid Resources: Clients and Families