The Advanced Coronary Treatment Foundation recently announced that Naloxone training will be added to their free CPR training classes currently offered in Canadian high schools.
Naloxone training can be offered to anyone wanting to learn how to help in the event of an emergency overdose. The drug is administered either by injection or nasally and the course only takes a few minutes.
This pilot program is not yet offered within Saskatchewan. However, many are advocating for making it mandatory within schools in Saskatchewan.
The Warriors of Hope Community Support is a group based in Regina that aims to prevent overdose-related deaths and educate the public on the topic. The group is strongly in favour of adding Naloxone training to the Saskatchewan education curriculum.
“High school students need to know that their lives matter and that everybody’s lives matter. It’s understanding that if their buddy ODs at a party, their life matters and you do need to administer Narcan or Naloxone to bring them back,” said Payton Byrne, an outreach support volunteer with the Warriors of Hope Community Group.
Naloxone training is currently not included in the Saskatchewan education curriculum. In a statement provided by the Ministry of education, they explained that the ministry works with various organizations to support student well-being which is a shared responsibility between school divisions, the community, and the government.
The statement read:
“The prevention and negative consequences of drug abuse are addressed within health education and other subject areas. In Saskatchewan, students are required to take health education from Grades 1 to 9 and explore topics related to health and well-being, which includes the topic of prevention and education related to substance misuse.”
The opioid crisis is becoming more prevalent in Canada, with over 5,000 opioid-related deaths in 2021 between January and September according to The Public Health Agency of Canada (94% of which were accidental).