Editorial: We must educate about opioids and Naloxone

Jan. 17, 2019

Receiving a text from a good friend that they just found his young daughter dead hits you in the guts.

Learning that it was because of opioids and that a kit available free of charge at the pharmacy could have saved her life is a second hit.

Watching that friend torn apart by it all, yet sharing his plea in a Facebook video begging people to get the kit and to have the broader conversation with their kids is yet a third.

There is nothing that anyone can say to heal the hole left in my friend’s heart or the heart’s of his family. It is a hole that will never be restored.

But we can help prevent another father or mother experiencing the same pain.

As of the end of September, 523 people died from an apparent accidental opioid poisoning last year in Alberta. There were 167 Albertans that died from opioids in the first quarter of 2018 and 158 in the second quarter. On average the government tells us, two Albertans die each day from apparent accidental opioid poisoning. Across the country, it averages nine a day.

Alberta Health Services tell us that “Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid (such as fentanyl) overdose, so long as it is given right away and followed up by emergency medical care.”

Three years ago, the Government of Alberta through Alberta Health Services made Naloxone kits available at no cost to anyone at risk of opioid overdose as well as to friends, family and the public. No ID is required.

Naloxone can save a life.

It could have saved my friend’s daughter’s life.

Addiction is something we need to talk more about. Naloxone is something we need to talk more about.

But we need to do more than talk.

We need to get kits into the hands of those we know who are addicted.

We need to get kits into our own hands.

We need to learn how to use Naloxone.

We need to be prepared to save a life.

Below is a list of places locally where you can get one.

For more information on Naloxone kits, visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/page15586.aspx

For more information about opioids visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/drug-prevention.html

For more information on getting help visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services/odp.aspx or call Health Link at 811 or 1-866-332-2322. The Addiction Helpline is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

Below is a video about opioids

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  1. The library is working towards a program to talk about addiction stigma, the opioid crisis, and provide a Naloxone training session. Information will be posted on Morinville News as soon as it is available.

  2. So sorry for your loss Dustan. A parent, friends, family, anyone should ever have to go through this. My deepest sympathies are with you and your family at this time.

  3. This is such a terrible blow to Dustan & far too many Alberta families. Thank you Morinville News & Stephen for using your platform for awareness to save the lives of others.

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