The B.C. government has made free naloxone kits available at pharmacies throughout the province. The kits will be available to people who use either use opioids or are likely to witness an overdose.
“Our most urgent priority is to keep people alive, so we’re dramatically expanding easy access to naloxone,” said Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy.
About 1,900 kits have been distributed to 220 pharmacies across the province. This includes pharmacies at London Drugs and Save-on-Foods, as well as a number of independent pharmacies.
“Our goal is to help save lives and prevent overdose deaths by making it more convenient for people to have access to these lifesaving naloxone kits, no matter where you live,” said Darcy.
WATCH: Global News coverage of naloxone
Participating pharmacies will also offer training to help recognize an overdose and how to respond.
Mike, who is a street worker and has saved countless lives with naloxone, welcomed the news.
“If they have access to it like now through the drug stores that makes all the difference in the world you know.”
The government says there are now approximately 830 places where naloxone kits are distributed in the province.
The latest figures show that 1,103 people have died of overdoses in B.C. this year.