Saskatchewan’s Take Home Naloxone (THN) program, which is publicly funded, 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.”
Nearly 600 THN kits have been provided to individuals through this program and more than 1,900 individuals have received training.
Naloxone is a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose when administered properly. It’s important to note that even after naloxone is administered, further medical treatment is required.
The focus of the THN program over the past year has been ensuring naloxone was available in most areas of the province, and 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.
In efforts to reach as many people as possible, the Ministry of Health and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) are working to ensure key community-based organizations are part of the expansion, and in addition, the potential to integrate nasal spray into the program will also be examined.
There are currently 29 communities with 84 different pharmacies across Saskatchewan where THN kits are available for purchase. There is no prescription required, however, a pharmacist must be consulted before kit purchase is made.
Please contact your local THN program to make arrangements for training and to receive your free kit. THN kits, education and training are currently available through the SHA.
Saskatchewan spends more than $46 million annually on a wide range of addiction services. An additional $400,000 for addictions support is part of the 2018-19 budget investment in mental health and addictions.
For a list of community pharmacies that sell THN kits, as well as a list of locations offering the free THN kit, visit the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan website.