Something to Learn –

November 23, 2018 – A Montreal social work student is on a mission to save lives by teaching people how to administer the drug naloxone, which can counteract the effects of an opioid drug overdose within minutes. At high doses, opioids such as fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine can stop people from breathing. At least 10 Canadian users are dying each day from the painkiller drugs. There are many close calls.

Richard Davy, who studies social work at McGill University, says that he saw people on the streets of his city who appeared to be overdosing “and that in itself spurred me to do something about it.” Now, he leads free workshops where he trains people in how to administer naloxone using kits that include syringes. What started out as an informal session teaching friends has turned into packed lecture halls. Davy also advocates for the drug to be more widely available. “I believe naloxone should be in every First Aid kit, on university premises,” he says. “I believe it should be in everybody’s home.”

Naloxone, which is also sold as a nasal spray under the name NARCAN, is available without a prescription at pharmacies across Canada. The federal government has a list of where to pick up the kits for free.

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