Ontario could mandate naloxone kits in bars, restaurants and construction sites

Mar 1 2022, 5:37 pm

Ontario has announced its plans to put forth legislation that would make it mandatory for high-risk workplaces to keep naloxone kits on hand.

If passed, the legislation would require industries with high worker opioid use to ensure they have naloxone kits in the workplace, and would increase fines for those who violate the rule.

According to the province, at least 2,500 people died from opioid overdoses between March 2020 and January 2021. They said that of those who were employed when they died, 30% were construction workers. There’s also been an increase in opioid use among bar and restaurant staff.

“Everyone in our province knows someone who has been impacted by the opioid epidemic,” Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, said in a statement. “These are brothers, sisters, mothers and daughters, and we need to do everything in our power to save lives. That is why our government is bringing life-saving naloxone kits to high-risk settings such as construction sites, bars and nightclubs.”

Naloxone can temporarily stop the effect of opioids during an overdose. This can help restore the breathing of an overdose victim and give them time to get emergency care.

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