June 14, 2016 - 10:38 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The Interior Health Authority is introducing take-away overdose kits and beefed up overdose tracking in all 35 emergency rooms across the region.
Kamloops, Kelowna and Vernon are among the seven sites already offering the service and will be followed within the next two months by the remaining emergency rooms, the health authority says in a press release.
Kits supplied under the Take Home Naloxone program which began as a trial at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in 2014 will be available in emergency rooms.
Naloxone, a drug which can counter the effects of opioid overdose, is also available at other locations in Kamloops and Kelowna.
The overdose surveillance program will gather information from any patient who is suspected of drug overdose and be forwarded to the provincial medical health officer.
It comes as a response to the surging number of overdose deaths in the province, almost half of which have been connected to the synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The province is also providing training for first responders and police officers, amongst others, on how to deal with fentanyl, which was almost unheard of just four years ago.
Money for the training will come from the B.C. Civil Forfeiture program.
Find more overdose stories here.
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