The province is providing funding for 200 take-home naloxone kits that are to be available for people in southern Alberta through Lethbridge HIV Connection starting on Thursday.
Another 800 kits are being made available in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat and Edson this month through a project being run by the Alberta Community Council on HIV.
Another 2,250 kits are to be made available if needed at a total cost of $300,000 this year.
Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says the kits are in response to the growing number of fentanyl-related deaths across the province.
Naloxone is an opioid-blocking drug that has been used to quickly reverse heroin, morphine, OxyContin and other opioid overdoses.
"We just couldn't sit back and it was important — the evidence is that naloxone is a life-saving drug and it needs to be available to people who are likley to overdose," Hoffman said Tuesday.
A community health nurse is to be available to show people how to safely inject the naxolone.
Alberta Health says anyone who can get a prescription in the province, and who is deemed at risk of an opioid overdose, can get a kit.
The province says each free kit will include two doses of naloxone, three single-use syringes, a pair of latex gloves and a step–by-step instruction pamphlet. (CJOC, The Canadian Press)
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