UBC students gain new source for naloxone kits

UBC hospital latest to obtain potentially life-saving take-home drug kits

The Urgent Care Centre at UBC Hospital on the Point Grey campus is the latest to be equipped with take-home naloxone kits.

The kits are offered to patients at risk of an overdose because naloxone can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially deadly opioid overdose.

The Vancouver Coastal Health authority says UBC joins other hospitals and health-care facilities already offering the kits within the region.

The health authority plans to have take-home naloxone kits available in all 14 of its urgent-care centres and emergency departments in the next few months, and kits can also be obtained at health or harm-reduction centres.

UBC students can also pick up a free naloxone kit on campus from Student-Health Services if they think they are at risk of an overdose.

Eight illicit drug overdoses have been recorded at the centre between January and the end of September this year, two more than over the same period last year, and doctors say easy access to naloxone is vital.

“Although we see a relatively small number of illicit drug overdose visits at UBC …, it’s important that people who use substances, including recreational users, have access to naloxone,” says VCH medical health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson in a news release.

Health Minister Terry Lake says in the release that it’s important to make naloxone accessible to students because it’s impossible to tell whose life could be saved by one of the take-home kits.

The Canadian Press

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