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AIDS committee in Corner Brook hands out naloxone kits and training on how to use them

Jessica Hackett of the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador poses for a photo with one of the naloxone kits the organization was handing out free of charge in Corner Brook Thursday.
Jessica Hackett of the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador poses for a photo with one of the naloxone kits the organization was handing out free of charge in Corner Brook Thursday.

Jessica Hackett wasn’t sure what to expect with Corner Brook’s first-ever pop-up naloxone kit site.

With five kits of the opioid overdose antidote being handed out in the first hour of the event, she was happy with how things were going.
The pop-up site was incorporated into a free barbecue and sidewalk information session held in Corner Brook Thursday to mark Hepatitis Awareness Day, which was actually July 28.
After the two-hour session was over, seven kits and the accompanying training on how to use them had been distributed to residents who thought they might someday need them.
“I’m happy to connect with just one person, even,” said Hackett, harm reduction manager with the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We had one person who took two kits for himself and someone else and we were happy to help him and make sure his loved one was safe too.”
Last week, at a similar public event in Stephenville, the committee handed out 17 kits. Hackett said that number could have been higher if the committee had more trainers available to show people how to use the kit before taking one. She said there were some people who couldn’t wait around for a trainer to become available.
She believes the willingness of people to come forward in such public locations to request kits shows the rising concern of using dangerous drugs such as heroin, morphine and fentanyl.
“I think people are starting to realize that no one is really outside of that zone of knowing someone who uses drugs, whether it’s opioids or other recreational drugs,” she said. “I think everyone is becoming a bit more openly concerned and the stigma is reduced by having public events like this.”
Anyone who is interested in getting a naloxone kit and to be shown how to properly use it can call the Safe Works Access Program 634-7927 to arrange an appointment or dial 811 to find out other locations where kits are available.

gkean@thewesternstar.com
Twitter: WS_GaryKean
 

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