By Cole Parkinson
As part of this year’s International Overdose Awareness Day, Vauxhall Mayor Margaret Plumtree is hoping to bring some additional first-aid training to the Vauxhall area.
With International Overdose Awareness Day held earlier in the summer, Plumtree underwent naloxone kit training at AIDS Outreach Community Harm Reduction Education and Support Society (ARCHES) in Lethbridge and brought her findings to council.
“They did some training on the naloxone kit. These are free and you get the training on it. What they do is, they give you the how-to information, so you can keep that in there. They give you three syringes, three vials and they teach you how to use it. Basically, as long as you know first-aid that’s what you start off with and if the person is not responsive, whether you know they overdosed or not, you give this to them,” she said.
Naloxone kits are provided for free and the nearest place to get them in the region is Taber where they are available at Wal-Mart, Johnson’s Drugs, Pharmasave and Taber Co-op Pharmacy.
Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose as long as it is injected immediately and followed up by medical care.
Plumtree says the needles in the kits have additional safety features for both those who need naloxone and those who are using the needle.
“The needles are really cool, they have a safety feature now that they never had before. When you do inject this into the non-responsive person when you put the plunger all the way in it clicks into the place and goes inside, that way you don’t accidentally break the needle off into the person’s leg or arm or poke yourself,” she explained.
With Taber being the nearest location to get the kits, Plumtree is hoping to bring the necessary training and kits to Vauxhall, if possible.
“The reason I wanted to bring this to your attention is that while looking for additional information on this, I noticed Vauxhall is one of the very few places you cannot get kits. I did talk to the lady at ARCHES and not sure if they will come to Vauxhall but they do travel,” she said. “I would love to see these around the community.”
Plumtree also stated she had received some interest from the schools in Vauxhall for the training with the Vauxhall Community Hall or one of the schools being looked at as possible destinations to hold the training.
If Vauxhall isn’t available for the training, Plumtree hopes ARCHES could come to Taber to hold the session.