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SHA hopeful for continued expansion of overdose prevention program

The Saskatchewan Health Authority(SHA) says they are hopeful to get more possibly lifesaving Take Home Naloxone kits into more communities.

Naloxone is used as an antidote to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by helping to restore normal breathing and consciousness, and prevent possible brain damage or death. The Government of Saskatchewan has free Naloxone kits, which they give out with training at medical clinics across the province.

Medical Health Officer for the Prairie North Region Doctor Mandiangu Nsungu says this program has already saved lives, and he hopes that it will be expanded into more communities that need it, including more locations in Lloydminster.

“There are a certain number of pharmacies in Lloydminster where the kits are available free of charge as part of the Alberta Health Services program, because it’s not just going only in Saskatchewan. So they are available in Alberta. As part of the expansion, very soon we will see more sites in Lloydminster where the kits are available.”

The Saskatchewan Government announced this week an expansion of who can receive the training to administer naloxone to people who may witness an overdose, including family members and friends.

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Dr.Nsungu says that the training program only takes about a half hour, but makes sure someone knows what to do in an overdose emergency.

“The training will include steps for how to prevent an overdose itself, how to recognize [an overdose], how to give the medication, and includes also how to take care of the respiration.”

Naloxone kits can be picked up at several pharmacies on the Alberta Side of Lloydminster, or at the Battlefords Sexual Health Clinic in North Battleford.

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