Beautiful downtown Victoria, BC. Home of delicious cocktails, wonderful food, delightful vistas…and like many cities in the province, home of a fentanyl crisis.
Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that is 50-100 times more toxic than other opioids, and is typically prescribed to control severe pain.
Over the past three years, there has been a progressive, province wide increase in the number of illicit drug overdose deaths in which fentanyl was detected.
Fentanyl has been found in many street and recreational drugs – including MDNA and cocaine. It’s not ‘just’ a heroin problem anymore, and overdoses are becoming more common in unexpected places.
We approached AIDS Vancouver Island, specifically their Harm Reduction team, to deliver some courses in how to use Naloxone, the medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids, as part of the Provincial Take Home Naloxone (THN) Program.
We opened our doors to these free classes, and had an amazing response. A bit over 48 hours after we posted the event on Facebook, the 120 spots we had available for the classes were full, and we were taking names for a waitlist.
This amazing outpouring of care, of concern, of community has astounded us at the Forum. We appreciate what it means for people of all walks of life to have access to this life-saving training, and are happy to do our part. We expect this to only be the beginning of the partnerships we will develop to help support our community-at-large.