Last weekend, the Orchard Recovery Center armed thirteen Bowen Islanders with their own Naloxone overdose kits and the knowledge required to use them if they find someone in an overdose situation. The workshop is part of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s harm reduction program called, Toward the Heart, which offers free kits to anyone who think they might need one. The Orchard’s Executive Director and co-founder, Lorinda Strang, says the Halloween season is a particularly good time for people to get educated and equipped for overdose prevention.
“It’s a time of year when people who might not regularly use drugs, do. People who do use drugs are more likely to use to excess,” says Strang.
The Orchard has been offering the kits through the Towards the Heart Program for several months now, but Strang says very few people asked for them.
“People probably didn’t know about it,” she says. “But we were pleased by the suggestion of our business manager, Lynn Hartle, to run a workshop at the Legion, and we were really happy with the response.”
Led by Jessie Bartch, a registered nurse who works a the Orchard, this weekend’s training sessions included a number of parents and their teenage kids.
“In the past when we did drug education events, very few people would show up,” says Strang. “But now people are stepping up. Young people are concerned about their friends and want to be able to help if necessary. Parents aren’t just worried about their own kids, but also about their kids’ friends.”
She adds that just because there might be a lull in news about the opioid crisis doesn’t mean it has gone away.
“It’s getting worse,” Strang says.
There will be another Naloxone training and workshop on November 23, but if someone would like a kit and to learn how to use it, all they need to do is call The Orchard and ask – any time.
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