Further funding announced for prevention of Nova Scotia opioid crisis

Published on March 13, 2017

©The Guardian

DIGBY, NS - The province has announced further funding toward preventing opioid overdoses in Nova Scotia.

On Mar. 10, the Department of Health and Wellness announced another $1.1 million in funding toward the issue.

$564,000 of this funding will go towards purchasing naloxone, a medication that helps reverse opioid overdoses. The medication kits will be distributed to organizations such as municipal police and community pharmacies.

Constable Colin Helm of the Digby RCMP said all officers in the county and across the province have been trained on proper use of naloxone and are able to respond to crisis situations.

“The training and distribution of the kits happened within the past couple months,” he said.

“We're all carrying them now.”

Naloxone is also currently stocked in ambulances and emergency rooms throughout the province.

In the release, Minister Leo Glavine spoke of other provinces in Canada where synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, have become a crisis. He said these drugs are becoming more available to people in Nova Scotia.

The funding is aimed at stopping overdoses specifically on synthetic opioid drugs such as fentanyl, which has become a crisis in provinces such as British Columbia.

Glavine said Nova Scotia is “taking action now before this becomes a crisis.”

$559,000 of funding will go to helping three community harm-reduction organizations located in Halifax, Truro and Sydney respectively.

Naloxone kits are also being used in pilot programs at controlled drug-use treatment centres in Halifax and Sydney. 30 kits have been used to reverse overdoses since the centres opened.

In 2016, four out of six opioid overdoses in Nova Scotia were caused by fentanyl.