Response to the article: Naloxone kits yet to be widely distributed to Edmonton Police officers commission hears http://edmontonjournal.com/news/crime/naloxone-kits-yet-to-be-widely-distributed-to-edmonton-police-officers-commission-hears
In 2011 I lost my brother Josh to an accidental prescription opioid overdose.
It continues to that shock me how naloxone is often only referenced in connection to fentanyl overdoses. Naloxone is effective for all opioid overdoses, prescription or illicit. According to Alberta Health as of October 2016 more people died from prescription opioids than illicit fentanyl in the city of Edmonton. 49% of those people filled an opioid prescription within 30 days of their death.We are suffering from an opioid epidemic not simply a fentanyl epidemic and it has been going on for over a decade. The narrow focus on fentanyl is not helpful.
Secondly the lack of urgency EPS is demonstrating in equipping their officers with naloxone is disheartening. Enforcement is often the first person on the scene. In the event of an opioid overdose every minute counts and waiting for an ambulance could make the difference between life and death. Having officers equipped with naloxone and trained to properly detect and asses if someone is suffering from an overdose is essential to preventing additonal unesscessary deaths. This low cost , low risk intervention needs to be accessible to all first responders immediately.