Williams Lake City Council committed to undertake training at the next Committee of the Whole meeting to administer naloxone following a presentation Tuesday evening on the overdose crisis.
“I think it’s a really positive thing,” says Boys and Girls Club Harm Reduction Coordinator Jordan Davis.
“I was happy to hear that response because you never know what kind of impact something like that is going to have.”
The Public Works Department according to Director of Municipal Services, Gary Muraca will also be taking a proactive approach.
“We’re aware that the fentanyl is obviously in our community and just for the protection of our staff we’re going to start carrying it in the vehicles of the vulnerable staff like the parks departments for areas like washrooms so if we are exposed we do have immediate access to the spray.”
Muraca notes the nasal spray they will be carrying over the kit containing a vial and needle to administer, comes in packages of two for just over $100.
“We’ve been working closely with the RCMP on this,” he adds. “Recognizing it is in our community, we just want to make sure we’re out in front of this. It’s not about it’s never happened, it’s more about it could happen and we want to make sure we’re doing everything to protect anybody that we can.”
Statistics from the BC Coroners Services show that were 999 illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected from January through October 2017 with age groups 30-39 and 40-49 making up the bulk that figure.
“I know of two individuals where they had substantial surgeries became addicted and then they got shut down prescription wise and they went to crack shacks. These are like 50-60-year-old people,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron noting that there are older people becoming addicted to opioids.
All volunteer fire departments according to Davis have been trained to administer naloxone.
“It’s a great skill to have and you could save somebody’s life,” she says.
“We at the Boys and Girls Club lost a youth in December who was a long-term client of ours to an overdose. It had a huge impact on us. We have had deaths in the community. We do not have current up to date stats on the deaths, but we do know that the amount of responses have had huge increases.”
Bryon says B.C Ambulance’s policy now is not to call RCMP unless there is aggressive violence or threats of violence.
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy announced on December 20, 2017, that free take-home naloxone kits are now available at community pharmacies throughout the province to people who use opioids or are likely to witness an overdose.
Byron confirms that carfentanil which is 100x stronger than fentanyl has been seized in Williams Lake.