A group of Parkland College students and staff now know what to do in case of an opioid overdose. Some Adult Basic Education students in Melville took part in an information session with Saskatchewan Health Authority public health nurses, who came to their classroom Tuesday afternoon.
The session and subsequent hands-on training focused on take-home naloxone kits. Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) is used to counteract overdoses caused by opioids such as morphine and fentanyl. Students learned the vital steps to help someone experiencing an opioid overdose. Several of them opted for hands-on practice with the same naloxone kits that are available at the Turning Point program in Yorkton and the Stepping Stone Wellness Clinic in Kamsack. Each kit contains two vials of naloxone and two syringes, as well as alcohol swabs, gloves, a breathing barrier mask, and instructions.
Everyone who attended the workshop received a certificate from the health authority. Students who completed the training session will now be certified to administer naloxone.
Opioids include narcotics such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone, and codeine. People who misuse opioids (whether prescribed or obtained illegally) are at risk of overdosing, which can cause breathing to slow or stop entirely. Naloxone reverses opioid overdose, restoring breathing in a few minutes.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were over 2,800 apparent opioid-related deaths across Canada in 2016, a rate of 7.9 per 100,000 population. Saskatchewan recorded 71 deaths that year. And the province has one of the highest rates of hospitalization in Canada caused by opioid poisoning.
The Government of Saskatchewan says the take-home naloxone kit program is empowering. It gives peers, friends, and families of people who use drugs the chance to save a life, sending a clear message to those who use drugs that their lives matter. In addition to the sites in Yorkton and Kamsack, take-home naloxone kits are currently available in Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, and Prince Albert.
About Parkland College:
Parkland College provides high quality, learner centred education and training as a foundation for lifelong success. The College offers a superior learning and campus experience for all students through quality programming and services. Students can get started on their careers by completing university classes, full degrees, and skills training and trades certificates. Parkland College also delivers high school upgrading, safety training, and corporate/professional development.
For more information contact:
Coordinator, Corporate & Internal Engagement