Monday, November 7, 2011

News: Toronto now distributing naloxone kits (with bad instructions?)

A Toronto overdose kit

Good news from the great city of Toronto, where the city launched an overdose education and naloxone distribution program in October. Here's the full story from the CBC. As Toronto harm reduction pioneer Raffi Balian says in the article, "to have this product, which can reverse an overdose right away, is an amazing thing. I know it works because I have brought people back from overdoses at least three times and one person twice."

A couple things stuck out from the article though. First, have a look at the photo, which appears to show the contents of kits distributed by the city. The instructions on the pocket card are a little questionable, including direction to do chest compressions and no mention of airway management or rescue breathing. Second, the article has Shaun Hopkins, a Toronto needle exchange manager, saying that naloxone costs the city $8 a dose. Producers have been jacking up prices far and wide over the past couple years, but is Toronto getting ripped off? Comments and clarification from OPA's Toronto readers will be very welcome.

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