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Naloxone’s Role In Opioid Overdose Prevention

la naloxone en cas de surdose d’opioïdes

Communities across Canada have been deeply impacted by the current opioid crisis. Deaths from opioid overdoses continue to rise, a situation that has been made worse by the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you know someone who struggles with an opioid addiction or not, it is possible that all of us may face a situation that involves an opioid overdose.


What Are Opioids?

The term ‘opioid’ refers to a class of substances that affect the human body in a similar way. Common opioids include morphine, codeine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl and heroin. Many other street drugs can contain various forms of opioids that the individual using the drug may or may not know about. As a prescription medication, at the right dose, opioids can be used effectively to treat pain. However, taking too much can cause an individual to become unconscious and stop breathing, resulting in death. Accidental overdoses can even occur in individuals who are taking these medications properly.

How Does Naloxone Work?

Naloxone is a medication that will temporarily reverse the effects of opioid substances. It can be administered by injection or in the form of a nasal spray. Naloxone, packaged as a kit, can be a life-saving medication when emergency treatment of an opioid overdose is required. Naloxone will temporarily reverse the effects of opioids, allowing an individual experiencing an overdose to regain consciousness and breathe. This provides extra time to get the appropriate emergency care to treat the overdose. Death can be avoided if naloxone is administered in time. In Ontario, naloxone kits can be obtained from your local pharmacy, free of charge.

Risk of Opioid Overdose

It is important to understand that anyone who uses street drugs is at risk of an overdose. Anyone who is starting opioid medications for the first time can also experience an overdose. Even individuals who are on long-term opioid treatment for pain can overdose. One must also consider the risks of having opioid medications in the house and the possibility of others, even children, accidentally ingesting the opioid. If you or someone you know is taking an opioid medication and there is any risk of an overdose to this individual or others, get a naloxone kit. If you know someone who uses street drugs or if you feel you may be able to help someone who may overdose on these substances, get a naloxone kit.

Why Get a Naloxone Kit?

Naloxone kits are a convenient, easy to carry package that contains two doses of naloxone (in either an injectable or nasal spray form) along with instructions and other first aid supplies to help manage an overdose situation. Obtaining a naloxone kit from your local pharmacy is easy. Pharmacists will also provide training on naloxone and the use of the kit. We encourage everyone to consider carrying a naloxone kit as you could save someone’s life one day.

For further information about naloxone or to obtain your own naloxone kit, contact a Metro Pharmacy near you.

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trousse de naloxone

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