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Fraser Health turns to education, social media to fight fentanyl crisis

Fraser Health Authority launches refresher course to fight B.C.’s overdose crisis
The refresher course is aimed at people who were taught what to do, but might have forgotten some critical information. Linda Aylesworth reports.

In the latest step to end the province’s fentanyl crisis, Fraser Health is offering free, online courses to teach the public how to use nalaxone kits.

The kits, which are used to stop drug overdoses, have been offered through pharmacies for the past two years.

Dr. Aaamir Bharmal with Fraser Health says over 100,000 naloxone kits have been given out and they want to make sure people know how to use them.

“It is more than just having a naloxone kit on hand, it is about knowing how to recognize an overdose, as well as knowing how to respond to it quickly.”

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READ MORE: B.C. paramedics called to highest number of overdoses in a single day since April 2017

According to a media release, the Overdose Response Practice Drills will go from August 27 to 31 and will be offered through both Fraser Health’s website and their Facebook page. They will promote being prepared to recognize and respond to a drug overdose.

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An interactive Facebook Live event will happen August 27th at 1 p.m. Pacific time on Fraser Health’s Facebook page. The online demonstration and live chat session will offer experts to answer questions and show  how to respond to an overdose, including how to use naloxone.

“Our staff will actually be responding to a mock overdose and going through the steps,” Bharmal said.

READ MORE: Abbotsford police arrest 2 fentanyl dealers in 2 days

He says in the middle of a fentanyl crisis, naloxone kits save lives.

“We want to encourage people to get a kit,” Bharmal added, “and those are readily available through pharmacies.”

In addition to Fraser Health’s staff conducting overdose response practice drills at their offices, the organization is also encouraging community partners, emergency health services, and police to practice responding to overdoses as well.