During the April 13, 2022 Oro-Medonte Council meeting, Councillor Shawn Scott spoke to the opioid crisis, and initiated discussion with fellow Council members regarding the importance of community safety and well-being, and recommended the availability of naloxone kits within Township of Oro-Medonte facilities open to the public.
Naloxone hydrochloride is a fast-acting drug often delivered by a nasal spray used to temporarily reverse the effects of opioid drug overdoses or poisoning. Opioids are a group of drugs that includes morphine, heroin, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone.
In 2019, initiated by Councillor Scott, Oro-Medonte Council was provided with video training regarding administration of naloxone hydrochloride, and encouraged to have access to naloxone kits.
Taking into consideration the consistent increase of opioid related medical emergencies in Simcoe County, inclusive of two cities, Township Council unanimously supported availability of naloxone kits in Township facilities open to the public, complemented by a social media campaign, and information on the Township’s website. Each Township facility open to the public will have two (2) naloxone kits, providing four (4) doses of naloxone hydrochloride.
Recognizing the tragedies associated with opioid overdoses and poisonings, the Provincial Government recently passed Bill 88 which includes changes to the Occupational Health & Safety Act regarding the availability of naloxone kits in workplaces, and providing training for employees to administer naloxone hydrochloride.
Councillor Shawn Scott commented that “in the past, an overdose was attributed to excessive drug use, but with the availability of fentanyl, it has become drug poisoning. The stigma of overdoses being directly related to societal perception of a drug addict, continues to hamper the ability to help people impacted by the devastation of opioid misuse and addiction – these people can be our children, brothers, sisters, friends and parents.”
Craighurst Guardian Pharmacy located at 2054 Horseshoe Valley Road West has offered their assistance to supply interested community members with naloxone kits, and education regarding naloxone hydrochloride.
Mayor Harry Hughes commented that “Council recognizes the serious and significant health impacts of excessive opioid use. We are taking proactive steps to ensure availability of naloxone kits in Township facilities open to the public.”
Members of the public are reminded to call 911 in the event of a medical emergency and are encouraged to learn more about naloxone hydrochloride and naloxone kits, offered free of charge at many Ontario pharmacies, by visiting: ontario.ca/page/get-naloxone-kits-free.