ON THE FRONT LINE OF OPI­OID CRI­SIS

The Province - - ADVERTISMENT - Al­lan Wong Phar­ma­cist, Shop­pers Drug Mart

With­out quick at­ten­tion, a drug over­dose can be fa­tal. But there’s a new treat­ment that is help­ing to save lives.

It’s called nalox­one, and it can tem­po­rar­ily re­verse the ef­fect of an over­dose, al­low­ing one to re­gain con­scious­ness and seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion. And the good news is, nalox­one kits are avail­able in BC with­out a pre­scrip­tion. All Bri­tish Columbians can ac­cess nalox­one kits in phar­ma­cies, while in­di­vid­u­als who are at risk of an opi­oid over­dose or who are likely to wit­ness and re­spond to an over­dose may also be able to ac­cess the kits through the To­ward the Heart pro­gram’s ap­proved dis­tri­bu­tion sites.

“It makes sense for a po­ten­tially life-sav­ing drug to be made more avail­able,” says Dr. Al­lan Wong, a Shop­pers Drug Mart phar­ma­cist in Sur­rey. He adds that he is not sur­prised that phar­ma­cies are play­ing a crit­i­cal role in the opi­oid cri­sis. “Phar­ma­cists are prob­a­bly one of the most ac­ces­si­ble health care providers,” he says.“There are a lot of us, we are trained health care pro­fes­sion­als, and you can ac­cess a phar­ma­cist within min­utes, whether by phone or in per­son, and in many cases,we’re open 24 hours a day.”

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