June 24, 2019 6:31 pm

Downtown Peterborough businesses will have access to naloxone kits

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Another step was taken Monday to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis in Peterborough.

The Downtown Business Improvement Area is partnering with Peterborough Public Health and PARN to provide naloxone kits at no cost to downtown businesses.

READ MORE: Panelists announced for opioid summit in Peterborough


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There have been 19 suspected overdose deaths this year in the Peterborough area. That’s two more opioid-related deaths than all of 2018.

“This is crisis mode,” said Peterborough DBIA executive director Terry Guiel. “Sometimes in crisis mode, you’re in triage. You have to react. That’s what we’re doing.”

Guiel says he recognizes the downtown core is one of the largest areas impacted by the opioid epidemic and that businesses can play a role in helping those in life or death situations

“This is an important skill to have,” said Guiel. “You aren’t learning how to fly a kite. You’re learning how to save a life.”

Downtown business owners and employees will not only learn how to use naloxone kits but also how to recognize the signs and symptoms of someone experiencing an overdose.

“You need to look for some tell-tale signs, like skin tone turning blueish, changes in the pupils, extreme lethargy, nodding off, and unconsciousness,” said PARN executive director Kim Dolan.

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There is no mandate for DBIA or Chamber of Commerce members to attend sessions and learn how to use the naxolone kits. However, Guiel says he has spoken to a number of owners who are on board with the initiative and is hopeful that 200 businesses in the downtown core will join the program.

“I’m really proud of our business community,” said Guiel. “They are a very compassionate community.”

Each naloxone kit costs $120. The DBIA has 50 units on the way and says they are in the process of finding a sponsor so more kits can be available to downtown businesses.

READ MORE: Peterborough police, paramedics respond to 13 opioid-related overdoses, 2 deaths in 72 hours

Peterborough Public Health and PARN will be holding brief training sessions on how to use the naloxone kits at Venture North on George Street. The training is only expected to take about 20 minutes. Sessions for business owners and employees will be held June 27 and 2 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and July 4 and 5 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Stickers will be available for any business that would like to display one on their window to let people know they are trained on how to respond to opioid poisoning.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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