Posted on: Tuesday, September 1st, 2020
Overdose Awareness Day was on August 31, 2020, and is an important topic we all should be made aware of. On average, since 2016, 3850 people have died from overdoses in Canada per year. Understanding individuals who struggle with substance use disorder, addiction, and drug use are not something we commonly think about, especially now with COVID. It is important to ensure that these individuals receive the support and resources they require and that we aim to keep these individuals safe. Blaming the individual for their addiction is not helpful and does not show understanding. Many people who become dependent on substances have endured some form of trauma in their lives.
The majority of pharmacies and medical facilities carry naloxone kits and will provide them upon request, without question. Allowing the public access to these kits allows anyone the ability to save another’s life. Please consider having one on your person at all times and receive a tutorial on how to use these kits from a medical professional/community support. You never know when an overdose can happen. Please always contact emergency services when you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose. EMS may advise you to administer naloxone, if you have a kit, while over the phone. Become familiar with common signs of an overdose such as: being unresponsive, difficulty breathing, and various other warning signs.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse/drug use/addiction and needs assistance, there are two Detox facilities in Calgary. Alpha House (403-234-7388, ext. 2) and the Renfrew Recovery Centre (403-297-3337). There are numerous treatment centres across Calgary and Alberta. If anyone is in immediate danger or you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, please call 911. Another invaluable resource is the DOAP team (403-998-7388) who helps assist CPS and EMS in relieving street-level intoxication throughout Calgary and helps reduce unnecessary calls to emergency services. If you or someone in your life is struggling with drug use/addiction please reach out to us at Journey Counselling to talk with a psychologist (403-619-8558).