Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jul 2017
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The StarPhoenix
Author: Jonathan Charlton
Page: A3


Providing take-home naloxone kits to Saskatchewan federal inmates is a
"step in the right direction," addictions expert Dr. Peter Butt said.

"Not only is it evidence-based, but it's directed towards the safety
of individuals and communities so that we have hopefully fewer opioid
overdoses occurring within a population that's already been identified
as vulnerable," he said.

Naloxone is a drug that can stop an overdose from opioids such as
fentanyl, morphine, heroin, methadone and oxycodone. The kits are
available in certain pharmacies in Saskatoon, Regina, North
Battleford, Prince Albert, Yorkton and Kamsack, according to the
Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan.

A federal program to provide naloxone kits to inmates came to
Saskatchewan in June, Correctional Service Canada spokeswoman Lori
Halfper said in an email.

The program began in early November 2016 at Fraser Valley Institution
for Women and CSC aims to expand it into the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec
and Atlantic Canada.

"This take-home Naloxone program is of greatest interest to inmates on
opiate substitution therapy, those with a documented opiate addiction,
those who have had a previous overdose or those at risk of an
overdose," she said in a statement.

"However, the program is not restricted to these groups. CSC will
provide health teaching to inmates who are interested in participating
in the initiative. Participants will learn how to prevent an overdose,
how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose, and how to
administer Naloxone to prevent overdose death."

The kits contain single use safety needles and single use ampoules,
which maximize safety and don't contribute to potential ongoing
substance misuse among offenders while in the community, she said.

Butt said that when inmates return to the community they're at
increased risk of relapse due to the new triggers they face, as well
as overdose due to their lack of tolerance.

Once the person survives an overdose they can receive the care they
need and transition to supported long term recovery, he said.

Naloxone kits are available within provincial facilities but the
province does not provide take-home kits, Saskatchewan justice
ministry spokesman Noel Busse said.

"However, we're exploring how to best provide take-home kits and
accompanying education on how to use the take-home kits to former
offenders in situations where it might be appropriate," he said.
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