The B.C. government is broadening the use of a nasal spray drug to combat overdose deaths.
Health Minister Terry Lake says with the latest string of fentanyl-related deaths first responders will be getting access to Naloxone nasal spray.
Lake says if applied in time, the spray can save the life of someone who has overdosed.
“But also working with the federal government to take Naloxone off the prescription drug schedule so that it is more readily available. It is an important step because there are people that can help and intervene and prevent an overdose if they use that life-saving drug in time.”
Lake says it’s a part of a broader effort to increase access to the drug.
“We are very much on the forefront of making Naloxone available. I think over 96 sites in British Columbia have Naloxone available. So that we can give people the ability, the people that may need to, whether they are ambulance paramedics. We are looking at extending that out to other first responders.”
B.C. launched a take-home pilot project in 2012 to dispense traditional naloxone kits, which use a syringe to administer the drug.
Since then, it has distributed more than 4,000 kits and trained more than 5,000 people to use them.
Information on the program and where to get a kit can be found can be found here.