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New overdose program coming to Northumberland County

By Tyler Renaud [1]

BELLEVILLE – A new drug that helps delay narcotic overdoses will be available in Northumberland County.

The drug, called Naloxone, is similar to morphine [2], but, instead of blocking pain receptors, it delays the nervous system from absorbing opioid drugs – such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone – giving users a chance to get medical help before their respiratory systems shut down, according to David Jensen, media relations co-ordinator for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. [3]

Naloxone is administered directly into the muscle fibre via a needle and can offset the effects of an overdose for up to 45 minutes, Jensen told QNet News.

“This means that the harm from overdosing, including death, is delayed and the patient can be brought to a hospital for more comprehensive medical intervention,” he said.

The program is not unique to Northumberland’s South East Local Health Integration Network [4], as it is also available in 21 other county health networks.

“The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is responsible for the funding, management and oversight of the Ontario Naloxone Program, which commenced on Oct. 7, 2013,” Jensen said. “The Ontario Naloxone Program distributes the overdose prevention kit and training supplies to eligible organization throughout the province.”

The drug will be available at no cost.

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