Pharmacists will distribute NARCAN nasal sprays at 470 Belleville St. May 1 from 7 a.m. until 6 pm. or until handouts are gone. (Black Press File).

NARCAN Nasal Spray hand-outs in downtown Victoria aim to draw attention to opioid crisis

Event start May 1, 7 a.m. at 470 Belleville St., running until 6 p.m. or until hand-outs are gone

Pharmacists will give away NARCAN Nasal Spray in downtown Victoria Wednesday drawing attention to the accessibility — or lack thereof — of the life-saving medication.

ALSO READ: Opioid overdoses claimed more than 3,200 lives in first nine months of 2018

Starting at 7 a.m., May 1, pharmacists will distribute the nasal sprays at 470 Belleville St. and educate passersby on the need for wide access to naloxone, said a release from the makers of the nasal spray in announcing the event. Pharmacists will continue to hand out sprays until 6 p.m. or until hand-outs are gone.

READ ALSO: Opioid overdose display gets blessing from the Pope, then waits for city-approved spot

While British Columbia records the highest incidents of opioid overdoses per capita, availability and access to naloxone is not on par with other provinces, said the release. According to the release, any resident of Ontario and Quebec can go into any pharmacy and pick up a naloxone kit (either injectable or as nasal spray) for free without showing their health card.

ALSO READ: Youngest opioid overdose victim in B.C. last year was 10 years old

Canadian clients of the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program, eligible clients of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), as well as some Pacific Blue Cross and Alberta Blue Cross plans enjoy the same benefit, it read.

Given the strength of opioids available, and the need for multiple doses of naloxone, having access to a high dose naloxone is one more support in the fight against the opioid crisis, it read.

READ MORE: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

The product is commercially available and most insurance plans cover it.


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