People living in the remote, rural areas around Mission can pick up a free naloxone kit. / Keri Coles, Black Press file photo

Free naloxone kits available in rural, remote areas of Mission

Kits available at Dewdney General Store, Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge, and the Chehalis Store

A new program is providing free take-home naloxone (THN) kits to people living in the rural areas surrounding Mission.

Three locations have been established where kits can be picked up at no cost, but they are not located in health-care facilities or government buildings; rather, they are in local businesses.

READ: Overdose prevention sites, naloxone kits save thousands of lives in B.C.

“The project is looking at establishing novel sites in the rural and remote areas around Mission that can distribute take-home naloxone kits,” said public health nurse Judith Pellerin.

“There are lots of places within the urban areas that distribute the kits – access is pretty easy – but in the rural areas, folks out there really didn’t have anywhere to access without coming into town.”

Kits can be picked up at the Dewdney General Store, Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge, and the Chehalis Store and gas station.

Business owners are given a tablet that is pre-loaded with a training video. When a person comes in looking for a kit, they will be asked if they have seen the training video.

If not, they are referred to the tablet to watch a three-and-a-half-minute video on how to administer the naloxone, and then they get a kit.

MORE: Dying of embarrassment: Asking for a Naloxone kit in a small B.C. town

Public health, through the BC Centre for Disease Control, is providing the kits free of charge for people who are eligible.

“Anybody can go into a pharmacy and purchase a kit; it doesn’t require any kind of prescription. However, for the publicly funded ones, the eligibility is if you are a person who uses substances – they’re not defined, just substances – or if you are a friend or family member of somebody who does use substances, you are eligible.

“The idea is, if you have people in your life that use substances, you may have the opportunity to witness an overdose and, therefore, we want to get a kit into that person’s hands so that they can save a life,” Pellerin said.

The government-funded project is called the Mission Rural and Remote THN Project and was made possible from a grant through the province’s Community Action Initiative.

Fraser Health, the Fraser House Society and Mission Community Services have joined forces to make the project a reality.

The project is approximately one year long and will end in late October.

Even after the program ends, the distribution sites that have been established continue, and public health will maintain them.

“If more want to come on board, more will be welcomed on board.”

Pellerin said the project was started to get the naloxone kits into the hands of people who need them, noting that overdoses are a problem everywhere.

“This affects every family in B.C. We’re just trying to break down the barriers of people talking about it. Breaking the stigma, there is no shame in it,” she said.

Pellerin called naloxone an “antidote to an opioid overdose” and stressed the importance of having the kits in rural areas.

“It takes about 20 minutes for an ambulance to get out to those areas and it takes four minutes for brain damage with no oxygen if somebody is not breathing.”

So far, public response to the program has been positive.

“I haven’t had any negative response from the community. The community has really embraced it. They seem to agree with it and think it is the right thing to do,” Pellerin said.

For more information or to see a map of distribution locations, visit towardtheheart.com.



kevin.mills@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Insurance shock for B.C. condo owners

Claim-free two-year-old townhouse complex told premium will nearly triple

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read