High school students across Canada will soon be trained to administer Naloxone, a medication used to reverse the effect of opioids.
The Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation announced today that it’s adding opioids overdose response training to its roster of training programs for the nation’s high school students.
Canada’s high-schoolers already receive free training for crisis situations requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The landscape of emergency response is changing in Canada due to increases #opioidoverdoses. ACT is launching the NEW Opioids Overdose Response Training as an enhancement to its CPR/AED Prog, FREE for high schools. #SavingLives https://t.co/IPuqQJ8NDQ@GovCanHealth @CCSACanada pic.twitter.com/HJfPxAFl5S
— ACT Foundation (@actfoundation) June 14, 2022
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In a statement, the ACT Foundation said this opioids overdose response training will cover the following topics:
- What are opioids and how do opioid overdoses happen
- What is Naloxone and how does it work
- Recognizing a suspected opioid overdose
- Responding to a suspected opioid overdose including calling 911 quickly, performing CPR if needed and giving nasal Naloxone spray
“Enhancing ACT’s High School CPR and AED Program with opioid awareness and response training is a next step in empowering youth to respond to life-threatening emergencies,” said ACT Foundation Executive Director Sandra Clarke. “This new program will see teachers training hundreds of thousands of students in how to respond to opioid-associated emergencies.”
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), more than 5,368 people die of opioid toxicity from January to September last year. Around 94% of these deaths were accidental.
The non-profit stresses on the direness of PHAC’s observation about Canadians between the ages of 15-24 — the group is now the fastest-growing population in need of opioid overdose-related hospital care.
So far, the ACT Foundation has trained more than 4.8 million Canadian highs-schoolers and 8,300 teachers across 1,800 schools to perform CPR. Every year, over 55,000 mannequins are donated to schools countrywide to facilitate this, and 350,000 high school students learn this life-saving technique.
“All corners of the country have felt the tragic consequences of the overdose crisis, which continues to affect individuals, families, and communities every day,” noted Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett.
“The timely use of Naloxone for those experiencing an overdose can be life saving. To the ACT Foundation and all those who continue to make opioid overdose training available, and to the many people who are choosing to learn valuable skills that could save lives, we thank you.”
You can donate to the ACT Foundation, volunteer with them, become a partner, or help support in other ways here.