As the opioid crisis continues to impact the lives of many in southern Alberta, proactive safety measures are taking place in Lethbridge to educate the public on what do to if they come across someone who is overdosing.
“The opioid crisis is significant and it’s not just affecting us locally here in Lethbridge; it’s affecting us provincially and nationally as well,” said Marie Laenen, Health and Wellness instructor with Lethbridge College.
With such a crisis at hand, Lethbridge College and ARCHES held an open training session for students and members of public Thursday, on how to use naloxone, the medication that can reverse an opioid overdose.
“We’ve lost a lot of lives. We want to make sure that people in the community are equipped to have some ways of doing something about it,” said Laenen.
And for those who will soon be on the front lines of this epidemic, this training is crucial, one that they will depend on as they encounter high volumes of overdoses.
“The training is extremely helpful for us at EMT in training. It’s a really big step towards understanding how we help these kinds of people and the steps in which they take to help themselves,” said Joshua Waters, an EMT student.
According to a report from Alberta Health, in 2018, 746 people died from an apparent accidental opioid poisoning — an average of more than two Albertans a day.
With so many lives at risk and no clear-cut solution, sessions like this are one of many offered all throughout southern Alberta.
“We’re finding that more and more people just think that it is a good idea to carry a naloxone kit and they are very willing to help,” said Page Allert, the take-home manager with ARCHES.
For those unable to make it out to a community training, support is offered at the supervised consumption site.
The college will continue to offer the training in the months ahead.