December 13, 2017
Expansion of Naloxone to Police and Fire Services
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care announced last week that the lifesaving drug naloxone will be made available to police and fire services through the Ontario naloxone Program.
New Ontario data is showing a continued increase in opioid related deaths. There were 336 opioid-related deaths in Ontario from May to July 2017, compared with 201 during the same time period in 2016, representing a 68% increase. From January to November 2017 in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark area there have been 436 emergency room visits related to opioids compared to 390 in 2016.
Naloxone (Narcan) is the drug used to temporarily reverse an opioid overdose. After naloxone is given, further medical attention is needed in the hospital. First responders, such as firefighters and police are often first on the scene for medical emergencies therefore it will be valuable for first responders to carry naloxone.
The Gananoque Police Service, Brockville Police Service and Smiths Falls Police Service as well as the Gananoque Fire Service had purchased their own naloxone earlier this year in response to the opioid crisis and have already been trained by the Health Unit to administer naloxone. The Health Unit will continue to provide training and start to distribute naloxone to eligible fire and police services as requested. The eligible police and fire services are:
- Any fulltime, composite, or volunteer fire services
- Northern and first nations fire departments
- Municipal Police officers
- First nations constables
- Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
For more information call the Health ACTION Line at 1-800-660-5853 or visit the Drug Use and Harm Reduction section of our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook and follow @LGLHealthUnit on Twitter.
Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 1-800-660-5853 or 613-802-0550