Without quick attention, a drug overdose can be fatal. But there’s a new treatment that is helping to save lives.

It’s called naloxone, and it can temporarily reverse the effect of an overdose, allowing one to regain consciousness and seek medical attention. And the good news is, naloxone kits are available in BC without a prescription.  All British Columbians can access naloxone kits in pharmacies, while individuals who are at risk of an opioid overdose or who are likely to witness and respond to an overdose may also be able to access the kits through the Toward the Heart program’s approved distribution sites.

“It makes sense for a potentially life-saving drug to be made more available,” says Dr. Allan Wong, a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist in Surrey.  He adds that he is not surprised that pharmacies are playing a critical role in the opioid crisis. “Pharmacists are probably one of the most accessible health care providers,” he says. “There are a lot of us, we are trained health care professionals, and you can access a pharmacist within minutes, whether by phone or in person, and in many cases, we’re open 24 hours a day.”