font size -/+

Opioid Overdose Prevention

SHOOPP - Street Health Opioid Overdose Prevention Program

Opioid overdose deaths in Ontario have been increasing at record-setting levels for 13 years, with more than 5,000 deaths since 2000. In 2013, there were 625 opioidrelated deaths or one death every 14 hours. This ranks as the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario.

The Municipal Drug Strategy Co-ordinator’s Network of Ontario has released the guidance document “Prescription For Life,” that advocates for broader access to naloxone (see www.drugstrategy.ca). Hopefully their recommendations will be heeded by decision makers and improve access to naloxone.

Naloxone (aka Narcan®) has been used for the treatment of opioid overdoses in clinical situations for over 40 years in Canada and is listed on the World Health Organization List of Essential Medicines. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that will reverse the effects of opioids/opiates such as fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, heroin, etc. Naloxone is NOT effective for overdoses of other non-opioid drugs (e.g. cocaine, crystal meth). Naloxone has no potential for abuse and displays almost no activity in the absence of opioids.

Prescription for Life states: “It is critical to understand that people who are at-risk of an accidental overdose include individuals who are taking opioids as prescribed, in addition to people using opioids nonmedically. Effective opioid overdose prevention and intervention targets both opioid-using populations- and potential witnesses.”

Street Health Centre became qualified to distribute naloxone to people at risk of opioid overdose in September 2015.  The program began in October 2015 and we see any person at risk for opioid overdose and supply opioid overdose prevention training, naloxone kits and continue to offer agonist substitution to at risk people.

Naloxone kits include the following, stored in a hard-shelled eyecase:

  • 2 vials of 1cc 0.4mg Naloxone Hydrochloride
  • 2 X 1cc 25g 1 inch safety engineered intramuscular VanishPoint®syringes
  • Rescue breathing barrier (pocket mask)
  • Pair of non-latex gloves
  • Naloxone Identifier Card
  • Instruction Pamphlet

Any person in the community who uses opioids (prescribed or nonmedically) would benefit from overdose prevention training.  Eligibility for naloxone kits will be assessed individually.  Please contact Street Health Centre at 613.549.1440 for an appointment, walk-ins welcome.  If your organization is interested in learning more about our program please contact Street Health to arrange an in service for your staff.

To learn more about Naloxone click HERE