The B.C. government and local partners across the province have done a good job making it easier for people to learn how to respond to an overdose.
Naloxone, a medication that reverses the effects of opioids, no longer requires a prescription. It’s available for free at dozens of locations, including B.C. pharmacies at participating London Drugs and Save-on-Foods stores. In addition, various regional health-care providers offer short courses in overdose response in many clinics and even online.
But everyone is busy these days. In 2018, it’s not uncommon for business professionals such as lawyers and accountants to routinely work more than 50 hours a week. And let’s be real: a non-mandatory class in anything is easily one of those items that can languish on a to-do list forever.
But if you’re scheduled to work in downtown Vancouver this Thursday (December 13), you’ve got one less excuse to tick a naloxone course off your list.
Ahead of 11 a.m., duck out of your office for an hour and head over to Telus Garden at 510 West Georgia Street.
Proceed up to the building’s fifth floor and join Vancouver Coastal Health and Telus Consumer Health staff there for a 45-minute training in overdose response.
“The public are invited to learn how to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone by joining a free training session led by Vancouver Coastal Health,” reads a Telus media release. “Participants will be provided free naloxone kits to take home after the training.”
B.C. is on track to record more than 1,500 illicit-drug overdose deaths this year, slightly up from 1,450 fatal overdoses in 2017 and miles above 993 deaths in 2016, 526 the year before that, and 368 fatal overdoses 2014.
Put your phone down. Instagram can wait. This Thursday, tell your boss you’re taking an extra 30 minutes for your lunch break and learn how to save someone’s life.