April 18, 2018

Free Take Home Naloxone Kits Available to Those Who May Witness An Overdose

More Saskatchewan Residents Eligible for Training and Free Take Home Naloxone Kits

Saskatchewan’s publicly-funded Take Home Naloxone (THN) program will be expanding to provide free THN kits to people who may witness an overdose, including friends and family members of those at risk.

“We believe that even one opioid related death is too many,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “Making Take Home Naloxone kits available free of charge to anyone who may need them has the potential to save lives.”

Over the past year, the focus of the THN program has been ensuring naloxone was available in most areas of the province.  The THN program is now established in 15 communities across Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Kamsack, Yorkton, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Estevan, Kindersley, Buffalo Narrows, Swift Current, Melfort, Nipawin and Tisdale.

THN kits, education and training are currently available through the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).  Nearly 600 THN kits have been provided to individuals through this program and more than 1,900 individuals have received training.

Please contact your local THN program to make arrangements for training and to receive a free kit.

In addition, there are currently 29 communities with 84 pharmacies across Saskatchewan where THN kits are available for purchase.  There is no prescription required to purchase a THN kit, however a pharmacist must be consulted before a purchase is made.

As part of efforts to reach as many people as possible, the Ministry of Health and SHA are working to ensure key community-based organizations are part of the expansion.  The potential to integrate nasal spray into the program will also be examined.

The province spends more than $46 million annually on a wide range of addictions services.  An additional $400,000 for addictions support is part of the 2018-19 Budget investment in mental health and addictions.

Naloxone is a medication that, when administered properly, can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.  It is important to note that even after naloxone is administered, further medical treatment is required.  Call 911 immediately if you suspect an overdose.

For a list of sites where THN kits can be provided for free to those who are likely to witness an overdose, visit  www.publications.gov.sk.ca/redirect.cfm?p=85696&i=106365.

For a list of community pharmacies that sell THN kits, visit https://www.skpharmacists.ca/patients/naloxone.