(Toronto, Nov. 13, 2018) – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division welcomes today’s news from the Ontario government regarding the administration of naloxone by police officers.
The following is a statement from Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario:
“Police are often the first to arrive on scene when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance-use crisis. Giving officers the freedom to deliver life-saving naloxone without SIU reprisal is a tremendous move by this government. If this saves just one life it will be worth it.
“It’s important that we have all resources available to help fight this deadly and ongoing opioid crisis. Today’s news gives the first responder community, and the mental health and addictions sector, another tool to help save someone’s life.
“You wouldn’t charge a person if they tried to deliver CPR and someone died. Why should the administration of naloxone by police officers be any different? We’re pleased that police officers will no longer have to think twice before giving naloxone to a person in critical need.
“CMHA believes the fight against opioid-related deaths should be a systemic effort. Just as portable defibrillators are broadly available, so should naloxone. To help, CMHA Ontario has developed a free toolkit called Reducing Harms: Recognizing and Responding to Opioid Overdoses in your Organization. The toolkit educates people about the opioid crisis, the signs of an overdose, where to get naloxone and how to administer the potentially life-saving medication.”
- There were 1,265 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 865 the year before.
- An average of three people died daily of an opioid-related overdose in Ontario in 2017.
- Find out where you can get free naloxone kits www.ontario.ca/where-get-free-naloxone-kit
For more information, contact:
Communications, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4141