Pathways Addictions Resource Centre is approved to distribute kits containing the overdose-reversing Naloxone and train people to use them. image courtesy Gov’t of B.C.

Pathways Addictions Resource Centre is approved to distribute kits containing the overdose-reversing Naloxone and train people to use them. image courtesy Gov’t of B.C.

Pathways distributing life-saving Naloxone kits

Penticton’s Pathways Addiction Resource Centre is now a Naloxone Training and Distribution Centre

Pathways Addictions Resource Centre added a tool to their arsenal last week when they were approved as a Take Home Naloxone Training and Distribution Centre.

Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids (e.g. heroin, methadone, fentanyl, morphine), and administering it quickly can mean the difference between life and death.

The province developed the Take Home Naloxone program to save lives during the ongoing fentanyl overdose crisis. The kits and training are now available, at no cost, for people who use opioids and people who are likely to witness and respond to an overdose.

Daryl Meyers, agency director at Pathways, says the overdose problem isn’t going away. There were 922 overdose deaths in the province last year,compared to 510 in 2015. An additional 116 people died in January.

More: Fentanyl crisis declared by Shuswap Nation

“If there has been a big bust of fentanyl, then we will see a drop off until the drugs get back into circulation. Then we will see an increase of overdoses,” said Meyers. “But it is definitely not slowing down.”

A justice in B.C.’s top court is calling for stronger sentences for those who sell fentanyl. In a ruling posted online Friday, the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal to increase the six-month sentence of a man who was caught with drugs, including 2.6 grams of the deadly opioid.

The effort was denied, since fentanyl-related deaths were not as prevalent at the time of the offence. But the three justices agreed the court should identify a higher sentencing range because of the current “public health crisis associated with illicitfentanyl consumption.”

Justice Mary Newbury, who dissented in the judgement, called for a sentence of 18 to 36 months or possibly higher. The current sentencing range for first-time offenders is six to 12 months – the same as heroin.

Meyers said it is not just people using street drugs that are at risk. People taking opioids for chronic pain, especially older adults, should have a Naloxone kit handy.

Prescription users might take to much, she said, either trying to relieve pain, or in the case of older users, simply forget they already took their dose.

“Even though they are not using street drugs, they are still at risk of an overdose,” said Meyers.

Being an approved distribution centre has another benefit, as it starts a conversation.

“As part of the harm reduction model, any connection you can make with somebody is a positive step towards forming a relationship with them,” said Meyers. “If there is an opportunity they may want to make a change, a relationship has been established and it is easier for them to come in and talk about it.”

More: More overdoses as fentanyl epidemic grows in Penticton

Training is also available to business and organizations who want to be prepared if an overdose was to happen onsite. For training and a Naloxone kit, contact Pathways at 250-492-0400.

How to use Naloxone (Narcan)

fentanyloverdose

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is looking to provide food waste collection and composting programs in the region. (Contributed photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen applies for grants for food waste composting projects

Work includes creating facilities and implementing curbside collection of residential food wastes

Painted Rock Estate Winery has had their “Red Icon” Merlot blend recognized as one of the country’s best wines. (Painted Rock Winery / Facebook)
Penticton winery’s Merlot blend recognized as Canada’s best

Decanter’s 2020 ‘Wine of the Year’ list includes only one Canadian wine, and its local

Even the Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Letter: Wear a mask

Letter to the editor from head of Okanagan - Skaha Teacher’s Union

Giant's Head Elementary
Second COVID-19 case at Giant’s Head Elementary

Letter sent to parents Dec. 3 about the recent case

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The Siberian elm is an invasive plant. In Manitou Park in Naramata, crews are working to remove these trees and plant native species instead (File photo)
Crews remove Siberian elms from Naramata park

Invasive plant identified as a problem in region

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

Most Read