In Quebec, Naloxone Will be Offered for Free
The Quebec government has announced that naloxone, the fast-acting drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, will soon be free and accessible in pharmacies across the province, CBC News reports.
The measure is part of a larger plan municipal and public health authorities are rolling out as the number of drug overdoses and deaths related to fentanyl, a powerful opioid and painkiller, has spiked in Montreal over the last year. Experts call fentanyl's growing presence in the city a "public health emergency."
The decision is being praised by frontline community workers, who have been pushing for easier access to naloxone.
Under the new plan, people will no longer have to undergo special training in order to be allowed to administer naloxone. It means that police officers and firefighters will be equipped with naloxone kits and to be able to administer naloxone in case of an overdose.
According to WHO, naloxone is an important part of harm reduction for people who inject drugs, along with needle and syringe programmes, OST, HIV testing and counselling, HIV treatment and care and other measures.