NSHA teams up with south shore Women’s Giving Circle to create #mineisfor videos as part of naloxone public education campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HALIFAX, N.S. – Naloxone saves lives. It is safe, free and easy to use. Yet stigma remains a barrier to getting naloxone into the hands of Nova Scotians.

That’s why Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) has developed a series of videos aimed at raising awareness about and promoting access to naloxone, with funding and support from the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore’s Women’s Giving Circle.

The first in the #mineisfor series was launched today, Nov. 8.

The #mineisfor hashtag represents the difficult truth that an opioid overdose can happen to someone we know or love at any time and emphasizes the importance of being prepared to act and save a life in case it does happen.

“Universities should have them. Doctors, lawyers, police officers, coaches, teachers and grandparents – everyone should have access to one of these kits. Yet some people are afraid to ask for them. They are embarrassed. They are worried about being judged,” said registered nurse team lead Brent Laybolt of NSHA’s mental health and addictions services.

Laybolt is also part of the team that made the proposal to the Women’s Giving Circle to create a public education campaign on naloxone. “With this generous support from our community, we are hoping to help reduce that stigma and get more kits into the hands of those who need them, and ultimately, save lives,” he added.

Former Health Services Foundation of the South Shore board chair Trudy Johnson said that “when the proposal for naloxone information and education was made to the Women's Giving Circle, the women in the room saw this as an opportunity to give immediate and timely support to an area of growing concern.”

“No one, no family, no ethnic group or demographic is immune to the negative effects of the misuse of opioids,” said Johnson, who is also a donor to the Charm Diamond Centre’s Women’s Giving Circle.

“The decision of the Women's Giving Circle to award $10,000 to this project is testament to the recognition of the very real need for awareness increase and stigma reduction in our community,” she added.

Naloxone is used to treat an opioid overdose. It blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, which include extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. It is a temporary antidote that buys time for paramedics to arrive.

In April 2017, the Department of Health and Wellness announced funding to establish the Nova Scotia Take Home Naloxone Program (THN) to prevent opioid overdoses and related deaths from occurring in Nova Scotian communities. There are now about 280 pharmacies and 17 other registered sites that provide opioid overdose prevention, naloxone administration training and free take-home naloxone kits to Nova Scotians.

Since September 2017, over 4,400 kits have been distributed and there have been 40 reported reversals.

“Overdoses resulting from abuse or mistaken over-consumption of prescription pain killers like oxycodone, morphine and dilaudid have a huge impact on our community – lives ended too soon and families destroyed,” NSHA’s take-home naloxone coordinator Amanda Hudson said.

“People of all ages and segments of our society are vulnerable to addiction, overdose and accidental exposure to opioid overdose,” Hudson said.

“The south shore community has shown remarkable vision and leadership in wanting to do something positive to help address a potentially deadly issue,” she added. “The funds provided by the Women’s Giving Circle helped create videos with the goal of making naloxone kits more widely available to all of our communities. This video series will help save lives.”

Prescription opioids and methadone are still the number one causes of opioid overdoses and overdose deaths in Nova Scotia.

In 2017, there were 63 confirmed and probable acute opioid toxicity deaths in Nova Scotia. There have been 30 confirmed and 12 probable opioid toxicity deaths in 2018 (as of Oct.1). One is too many.

Who is your kit for?

Watch the first #mineisfor video here: https://www.facebook.com/NovaScotiaHealthAuthority/videos/2198815853732102

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Media contact:
Kristen Lipscombe
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
Nova Scotia Health Authority
NSHA Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344
kristen.lipscombe@nshealth.ca
 
About Nova Scotia Health Authority
Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit www.nshealth.ca for more.