Naloxone training session creates conversation around drug use

Dozens of community members came out to learn how to be prepared in case of an overdose

Dawn Gibson

Sooke News Mirror

An overdose prevention and naloxone training course was held at the Sooke Community Hall last night with hopes of creating a discussion around the issue.

“This is the start of a dialogue,” said Tracey Thompson, regional harm reduction coordinator at Island Health.

The training session taught people how to be prepared in the case of an overdose, including what to do, signs to look for, breathing techniques, and how to use a naloxone kit.

“I live in Sooke, and so I thought it was important to bring some awareness to the community because I know people here have been impacted by the overdose crisis,” said Hermione Jefferis, manager of health promotion and community development at AIDS Vancouver Island.

Thompson said people are at a higher risk of overdosing when they isolate themselves and are using drugs alone, but people tend to do it because of the stigma behind drug use.

“People can be trained on how to use a naloxone kit, but I think creating a conversation is what’s more important, and bringing this topic that has so much stigma behind it into the light,” said Thomson. “This many people showing up demonstrates how much people care about the community they live in.”

Approximately 30 people were in attendance and Jefferis said this was a great turn out because in a small community sometimes people are afraid for people to know their business, but this showed that people want to step up and help each other out.

Smaller training sessions are available upon request through Island Health.

“This doesn’t just affect people who use every day and may be affected, it affects everyone from all walks of life,” said Jefferis. “The issue isn’t going anywhere and we need to take action and respond as a community.”

For more information on overdose prevention and using naloxone kits, please visit the Island Health website, or contact Tracey Thomson at tracey.thompson@viha.ca.

 

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