The St. John Ambulance is providing British Columbians with free opioid overdose response training.
Students of the course will receive hands-on, scenario-based training using “life-like training aids” and will be given a take-home naloxone kit upon completion.
“British Columbia has distributed 114,170 naloxone kits as of August 15, 2018,” says the St. John Ambulance. “However, not everyone is confident or willing to administer injections.”
Drew Binette, Government Relations and Strategic Partnership Lead for St. John Ambulance BC, explains that “the program first began with a handful of volunteers in the DTES and Surrey. The organization soon hopes to train all 2,000 of their volunteers across the province.”
“We recognized in the first few months that the problem had moved away from the street to behind closed doors. We wanted to do more and help the public be more aware, as well as help to reduce the stigma,” Binette comments.
The course will be widely available in the lower mainland and at a number of locations across the province, with 1,000 British Columbians trained so far.
Courses can be taken in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Prince George, Campbell River, Kelowna, Victoria, and Kamloops and will be offered until the end of March.
The course is taught by a professional instructor that has been trained in muscle injection. There are no pre-requisites needed for taking the course and students will receive a certificate at the end of the program.
Anyone interested in registering for the course can visit their website for specific dates and times.