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Downtown Kingston businesses can receive free Naloxone training this fall

Naloxone kits, which are used to help interrupt opioid overdoses, are available free of charge in many places in Kingston. Photo by Dr. James Heilman.

As opioid-related emergencies in the KFL&A region surpass the provincial average, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Downtown Kingston! BIA and Respect RX Pharmacy are partnering to provide free Naloxone training to downtown businesses, so they can help during an opioid overdose.

“Supporting our businesses to be able to respond quickly in an emergency situation is important for keeping Kingston a safe place to live, work and visit. We are in a position to raise awareness and reduce stigma and, through partnerships like this, provide life-saving tools and skills directly to the business community,” said Donna Gillespie, CEO, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It can quickly restore normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose, according to a release from Downtown Kingston! dated Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021. But, naloxone has no effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder. Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, and morphine.

“Respect Rx Pharmacy is happy to support Kingston’s business community with free Opioid Overdose Prevention and Naloxone training. We understand how beneficial this information is in protecting our communities during Ontario’s current opioid overdose epidemic,” said Mark Barnes, Owner and Pharmacist, Respect RX Pharmacy.

For Marijo Cuerrier, Executive Director, Downtown Kingston! BIA, preparedness is key, “Our businesses, in some cases, may find themselves as first responders to an opioid overdose crisis. Equipping our members and their employees with the ability to react is critically important. We are grateful to have the opportunity to further train and extend Naloxone access to our members and will continue to work with all of our community partners in addressing these complex challenges.”

“No one organization or person can tackle a crisis of this magnitude alone,” added Rhonda Lovell, Public Health Nurse, KFL&A Public Health. “It’s vital that we come together and take an inclusive approach to community safety. Partnering with Kingston Economic Development and Downtown Kingston! to offer local businesses opioid overdose response training and resources is a great step forward that supports ongoing community efforts to raise awareness of the issue and prevent injury and death caused by opioid poisoning.”

Free Naloxone training will be available for downtown businesses beginning this fall, and attendees will be eligible to receive a Naloxone kit. Downtown businesses interested in receiving Naloxone training and kits are asked to contact the Downtown Kingston! BIA office at (613) 542-8677.

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