More calls for emergency responders to carry naloxone
Published Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:03PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:38PM EST
A member of the board for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit wants emergency leaders to reconsider a decision to carry naloxone kits.
Bill Marra claims Windsor is only one of two jurisdictions in all of Ontario where police officers and firefighters do not carry the potential life-saving drug.
The longtime city councillor, who will leave city hall next week, says police and fire officials are often first on scene, and should be pressured more to administer naloxone.
“Clearly policing has evolved organically to respond to the changes that have happened in the community and I think that's how we have to approach it,” says Marra. “If in five years it's a different challenge, then you revisit your policing strategy, your police intervention and you act accordingly and resource accordingly."
Marra tells CTV News if you can save one life, than it was worth the expense and worth the effort to revisit the policy.
The issue of naloxone kits has been front and centre this week since four suspected overdose deaths occurred in Windsor this past weekend.
According to the health unit, there were six substance use cases reported to the emergency department at Windsor Regional Hospital between Nov. 9 and 11.
Essex-Windsor EMS also responded to three suspected overdose cases during the same weekend and naloxone was administered.
But police chief Al Frederick said this week he still doesn’t want his officers to carry naloxone kits.
The issue of drug addictions and opioids was also discussed at the City of Roses sixth annual Emergency Medicine Conference held in Windsor on Thursday.
One of the guest speakers was Dr. Bram Dalcourt. He blamed the rise in opioid addictions to the fact doctors prescribed them without knowing how addictive they could be.
Dr. Dalcourt told CTV News he believes safe injection sites work, something Windsor’s police chief also opposes. Dr. Dalcourt also believes all emergency officials should carry naloxone kits.
“It is very easy to use,” said Dalcourt. “As far as I'm concerned, everyone should have naloxone so the police should absolutely carry it.”
The Windsor Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy Leadership Committee met on Tuesday to discuss how best to protect residents and prevent overdose deaths in the future.
The group identified two new action items while continuing community engagement for a safe injection or consumption site.
One is to share data between community agencies in a timely fashion and the second is establishing additional treatment and rehabilitation services.
The group is also calling for a rapid access addiction medicine clinic in Windsor and Essex County.