New toolkit helps to fight opioid overdoses; Advocacy group, Toronto bar first to use it
(Toronto, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017) – Opioid overdoses and life-saving naloxone are frightening and serious subjects. But a new easy-to-understand resource can help organizations and the average person identify the signs of an opioid-overdose and how to deliver potentially life-saving naloxone.
Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in Your Organization is particularly useful for community groups who work with at-risk populations. The resource is also useful for the average person who wants to learn more about how to use naloxone during an opioid-related emergency at home, at work or at play.
The toolkit – created by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division – is even more effective when it accompanies hands-on training provided from pharmacies or public health units that distribute naloxone.
- An overview of the current situation in Ontario related to opioids, naloxone, and opioid-related emergencies, including definitions and facts.
- Explanations of symptoms and who may be at-risk of an opioid overdose.
- Information about where to get naloxone and instructions about how to use it.
- Information about caring for an individual after they receive naloxone.
- Information about supporting employees in the aftermath of an opioid emergency.
- Considerations about implementing a naloxone-delivery policy, including myth-busting information about naloxone administration.
“I think it just makes sense for anyone in my industry or otherwise to learn about opioids, carry naloxone and learn how to use it to help save someone’s life. This toolkit from CMHA Ontario will help me and my staff and it can help others, too. I encourage you to get it.”
- Carmen Elle, Operations Manager, Less Bar, Toronto
“You don’t need to be a clinician to understand this resource. It’s created to give regular people and organizations basic information about using naloxone and how to respond to opioid overdoses. Given the impact of fatal overdoses we believe naloxone should be as widely available as possible, and this toolkit will help.”
- Camille Quenneville, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
“There is a significantly increased risk of drug-related death for individuals upon release from jail or prison, and the majority of those deaths involve opioids. John Howard Societies across Ontario are trying to find ways to respond to the opioid crisis. This toolkit certainly helps as it provides valuable naloxone policy guidance and education.”
- Paula Osmok, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Ontario
“I thank the Canadian Mental Health Association for this important resource, which will help communities across Ontario respond to this urgent crisis. The devastating impact of the opioid crisis has reached every community across the province and our government is committed to using every tool possible to reverse this heartbreaking trend.”
- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- In Ontario, 865 people died due to opioid-related causes in 2016.
- In Ontario, someone dies of an opioid-overdose every 10 hours.
- To find out where you can get a naloxone kit, visit Ontario.ca/OpiodOverdose
- Visit www.ontario.cmha.ca for a free copy of Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in Your Organization
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Acting Executive Director
John Howard Society of Ontario
416-408-4282 Ext. 223