September 13, 2017 4:57 pm
Updated: September 13, 2017 6:07 pm

Moncton organizations partner to increase overdose training and awareness

Wed, Sep 13: Aids Moncton, Medavie Health ED and the RCMP provided an education and training session for dozens of frontline workers on how to address and potentially prevent overdose situations. Jeremy Keefe has that story.

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Three organizations in Moncton partnered to provide education and training for various workers on how to handle overdose situations.

AIDS Moncton, Medavie HealthEd and the RCMP hosted the session, giving workers from local organizations the chance to learn how to address and hopefully prevent overdoses from occurring.

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“We taught them about drug awareness and recognition,” explained Ricky Babineau, Program Liason at Medavie HealthEd where the session was held. “Some of our primary care paramedic students went through with them some basic airway management skills … and then what to do with a potential of overdose.”

READ MORE: New report identifies need for addictions, mental health support in N.B.

Increasing the knowledge of front line workers whose clients often struggle with addictions should lead to saved lives.

Workers were shown how through the use of Narcan, a nasal spray that blocks the effects of opioids, they can halt an overdose in an emergency situation.

“Our organizations including AIDS Moncton interact with people who are at risk of overdose every day in our day-to-day work whether we’re doing needle distribution service, whether we’re providing shelter or we’re doing outreach work,” said Debby Warren, Executive Director of AIDS Moncton. “So it’s important for them to be knowledgeable about what overdose is and what the response should be.”

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According to Warren, AIDS Moncton has had a 30 per cent increase in people who’ve access their distribution service and a 60 per cent increase in requests for needles.

“So it is a serious issue. We want to prevent overdose and save lives … that’s why we’re doing this work,” she said.

Warren said she was pleased to be able to partner with the other groups to help the approximately 40 workers receive the much-needed training.

She’s hopeful they can branch out going forward to spread overdose awareness to more members of the public, in particular, those who live with addictions sufferers.

Warren said everyone needs to be familiar with the signs and treatment of overdoses.

“Families struggle every day,” she said. “Families are really a component that is being overlooked and I’d hope that in the next twelve months we can work to address that issue.”

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