Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Cops to carry naloxone

by Kate Bouey - CASTANET Nov 1, 2016 / 3:09 pm
RCMP in the North Okanagan have been trained in how to administer an antidote to the powerful opiod fentanyl, and officers will be carrying it with them. “Our members are trained in the safe handling of substances like that,” said Supt. Jim MacNamara, head of the Vernon/North Okanagan detachment. “They get training on the use of proper personal protection equipment and they have just recently all been issued with naloxone to use on their colleagues if required and/or those they might come across on the street who they believe may be suffering from an fentanyl overdose. “We started distributing it amongst our members in the last three weeks. They all have to go through a little training program with regard to its use and then they are expected to carry it with them.” The fentanyl crisis in B.C. is massive. In September, Health Minister Terry Lake announced 13,000 life-saving kits had been distributed cost-free to nearly 300 sites across the province, including emergency departments, public-health units and provincial and federal correctional facilities. B.C.'s coroner has reported well over 500 overdose deaths so far this year, many fentanyl related. Statistics presented to Vernon city council last week showed there were 40 drug overdoses in Vernon between January and June this year. The executive director of the Social Planning Council, Annette Sharkey, called that number an “underestimate.”

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