Pubdate: Sat, 02 Sep 2017
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Salmaan Farooqui
Page: A11


Student leaders running the University of Ottawa's orientation week
events won't be allowed to administer the opioid antidote naloxone in
the event of an overdose because of liability concerns if the
injection were to go wrong.

Hadi Wess, president of the undergraduate student union that runs the
events, said the group initially planned to have about 100 student
leaders carry naloxone kits to combat any overdoses that could occur
during the parties and events that get underway over the long weekend.

The measure was to prepare for the possibility that substances such as
the deadly opioid fentanyl could be mixed with other drugs that might
be consumed.

That plan was recently abandoned, however, after the union consulted
with lawyers, local health organizations and protection services on
campus and realized it could be held liable if the antidote was
injected improperly and led to a person being injured, Wess said.

A large portion of the University of Ottawa's orientation week
activities are run by the student union, Wess explained, a situation
different from many other schools where the university administration
is in charge.

"This is why we have to take a lot of extra measures when it comes to
insurance and when considering liabilities," said Wess. "We are under
the Ontario Corporation Act for not-for-profits, so it is a liability
for us if (naloxone) is administered in a wrong way."

Student leaders at orientation events are being trained to call on
campus emergency personnel who can administer naloxone if needed, Wess

"These people are all 17-, 18-year-olds, it's the first time they're
away from home, they're vulnerable, and they could go through
substance abuse and peer pressure, so we want to make sure they're
safe," Wess said.

Student leaders will also be allowed to carry naloxone when they're
off duty and not wearing orientation week uniforms, he added.
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