Take Home Naloxone Program!!

Take Home Naloxone Program!!

Jun 9, 2015

http://lethbridgeherald.com/news/local-news/2015/06/08/new-weapon-arriving-to-combat-opioid-overdoses/ Melissa Villeneuve Lethbridge Herald [email protected] New ammunition in the fight against opioid overdoses will soon arrive in Lethbridge. The Lethbridge HIV Connection has been chosen as one of eight agencies in the province to distribute take-home naloxone kits, a drug which can be injected to counter the effects of opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, or heroin. The kits are expected to arrive in July. A nurse practitioner will provide education, prescribe and dispense the kits to those who currently use, or have a history of using, opiates. “We have been experiencing a dramatic rise in accidental overdose deaths in all of Alberta, but specifically in southern Alberta over the last few months,” said Stacey Bourque, Executive Director of Lethbridge HIV Connection. “The province recognized numbers are climbing, and that they needed to respond to the situation. At this point in time, overdose deaths are now higher than car accident deaths in the province.” Each kit contains two doses of naloxone, syringes, alcohol swabs, gloves, a rescue breathing mask, and instructions. The kits are free of charge to clients. Family members may attend the clinic to receive training in prevention and response. Bourque said the top opioids used in Lethbridge are fentanyl, or the illegally-produced “Oxy 80,” heroin, and prescription drugs. Fentanyl has been linked to more than 100 deaths in Alberta last year, including at least 10 on the Blood Tribe reserve. Usually prescribed for post-surgical or severe chronic pain, the drug is known to slow breathing. In an overdose, breathing can slow to one breath every 10 seconds, until it stops completely. Although the naloxone reverses the opioid effect, Bourque said they still encourage users to call 911 in the event of an overdose. “It’s a window of time. It buys people time to get some medical attention. Because the overdose could return, there are two vials in each kit. Users that have these kits, it’s quite empowering for them.” The Lethbridge HIV Connection has three satellite sites within the city. Bourque said this allows them to have a good connection with the users in the community, to ensure they get the help they need. “These kits will save lives,” said...

Alberta Harm Reduction Conference

Alberta Harm Reduction Conference

Jan 23, 2015

13th Alberta Harm Reduction Conference is coming up on June 2 and 3, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. Registration on now! Scholarships available. Go to http://albertaharmreduction.com/ to register and/or apply for scholarships! Registration ends February 9, 2015.

Crack Pipe Vending Machinces

Crack Pipe Vending Machinces

Feb 10, 2014

Vancouver’s Portland Hotel Society has done it again, they have led the way with an exciting new harm reduction initiative. This time they are selling crack pipes (glass stems) from vending machines for the nominal price of $0.25 each as a way to make safer inhalation supplies more accessible. For those who support harm reduction, the practice of providing new pipes is the same as providing new needles: it is a proven method of reducing the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C. The Lethbridge HIV Connection currently does not supply pipes as the Alberta Government has not yet determined if they are legal or will be considered drug paraphernalia, which means staff members could be arrested and charged for distributing them. Nonetheless, we wholeheartedly applaud those at the Portland Hotel Society for once again leading the charge on harm reduction! To read more, follow the link below:...

‘Crack Kits’ and Hepatitis C

‘Crack Kits’ and Hepatitis C

Nov 7, 2013

While Alberta Health Services reviews the legalities around ‘crack kit’ distribution – more appropriately known as ‘safer inhalation supplies’ – research is being done around the globe to see how effective they are in preventing the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis C. In a recent Vancouver study, it was revealed that the distribution of safer inhalation supplies combined with counseling and support reduced harm as well as “high risk behaviour,” which could lead to reduced infection risks. The study recommends that agencies, such as ours, distribute the safer inhalation supplies just like we do with new needles and injection supplies. Both are harm reduction measures. Follow this link to read the article:...