(Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Kelowna pharmacists play key role in distribution of naloxone kits

Some may even witness overdoses and have to administer the kits themselves

Paramedics and firefighters aren’t the only ones who see the overdose epidemic on the front lines.

Pharmacists are trained in using naloxone kits and have been distributing them for free throughout the province since December, 2017.

READ MORE: Free naloxone kits now available at pharmacies across B.C.

Chris Waller, incoming president of the BC Pharmacy Association, said the role of the pharmacist lies in distribution and prevention.

“I do know a pharmacist who actually had to administer naloxone, but basically our involvement is really been on access. When naloxone kits first started to be dispersed, they were distributed by the Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver, and through some of the outreach resources,” he said.

Pharmacists and pharmacies have varied practices but there are pharmacies with a focus on additions and mental health, so there might be the potential to have a patient that has come to the pharmacy shortly after using, Waller said.

“I reference that pharmacist as an example, but there are certainly people that come into our store looking for these kits because they may know a cousin or someone with a history of addiction,” he said.

“The idea was pharmacists are in every community, pharmacists in many communities are open 24 hours, so you would be able to access this potential lifesaving product a lot easier,” he said.

RELATED: Illicit drug overdose deaths across B.C. trending down for 2018

Administering is similar to an adrenaline or an epi pen and pharmacists will review how to use a kit with their patients an injection, Waller said.

Naloxone kits are distributed at 26 locations in Kelowna. Waller said two kits have been taken from Lakeside Pharmacy, where he works, in the past year and has four currently in the store.

He will be speaking about a pharmacist’s role in distribution and prevention as part of International Overdose Awareness Day, Aug. 31.

Naloxone kits will also be given out during the day, starting at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a focus on education at Evangel Church followed by a free BBQ and music from 4 to 9:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan teenagers found after missing for four days

The pair, believed to be dating, had been missing since Nov. 15.

Downtown Kelowna Library sponsors Sugarplum Ball

The Sugarplumball is part of the OUT in the Valley festival in November

Joe Rich firefighters raise thousands of dollars for food bank

Joe Rich firefighters out in full force last Sunday to raise money for 15th annual community food drive

Lake Country burglars on the loose after attempted robbery

Two masked individuals tried to empty the Turtle Bay Pub’s ATM on Monday morning

Canadian car crash victims to be honoured at Kelowna event

Not-for-profit “One Crash is Too Many” will be hosting event at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Orchard Parking Mall lot

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Two-vehicle Okanagan crash ‘looks worse than it is’

Nobody injured in Vernon accident that happened just before 5 p.m. in middle of city

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Alleged drunk driver survives crash into Kettle River

The crash happened Saturday near Grand Forks

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Inner Peace Movement comes to Kelowna

Philip Ponchet will give two talks on Nov. 26

Most Read