Naloxone and Overdose Prevention

Effective date: July 1, 2017

Revised Feb 1, 2018

Purpose:

To reduce the risk of fatality in clients who use opioids.

Intent:

In the context of an opiate epidemic across Canada that is likely to remain problematic for many years to come, LOFT Community Services is trying to prevent death by overdose and reduce harm and stress on staff who are dealing with at risk clients.

Where applicable, clients should be informed about overdose prevention; and, all staff must know how to respond.

Definitions:

All staff who are serving these clients should be aware of what to do in the event of an overdose and our policy about Intranasal Naloxone as a part of an emergency response.

Overdose: An overdose happens when a person has more of a drug, or a combination of drugs, than their body can handle.

Opioid: Commonly referred to as “pain killer”; ranging from legal drugs (Demerol, oxycodone) to illegal drugs such as heroin and opium.

Naloxone: Naloxone (sometimes called Narcan) reverses opioid overdose.

 

Policy:

In addition to an understanding of LOFT’s medication policy, all staff working with (or who may be working with drug-involved clients) will be educated on signs of Opioid overdose and overdose prevention.  When deemed necessary by the Program Director, information will be provided and/or posted where the client can read the material and ask clarifying questions as needed.

 

Procedures:

  • Standardized information poster from POINT: Prevent Overdose in Toronto will be posted at all housing and support  LOFT Programs;
  • Be part of Program’s Annual Health and staff Safety check off list;
  • Part of new staff orientation;
  • Take-home Naloxone kits should be readily available for overdose situations – nasal spray is recommended;
  • All staff must sign off on having reviewed and tested on the PowerPoint: Intranasal Naloxone Training available at all LOFT supportive housing and outreach program sites

 

Training

  • All required staff will receive training for the use of Naloxone by a certified;
  • Naloxone will not be supplied to staff members who have not received training and competency testing

 

Naloxone Deployment

  • As per LOFT’s medication policy, Naloxone kits must be placed in a secure but accessible location in the program and, where appropriate, made available to opioid users.