Police in Delta, B.C. now fighting fentanyl with naloxone kits
Delta police in B.C. has become one of the first municipal police forces in Canada to be equipped with naloxone kits, which can reverse fentanyl overdoses.
There have been more than 600 overdose deaths in B.C. this year. The majority of them have been linked to fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. As little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal.
In Delta, the wakeup call came in early September when nine young friends all overdosed in the span of 20 minutes. Police say, the victims did not know that the drugs they were consuming contained the deadly opioid.
“As a result, a week later we set up some community forums,” Delta police chief Neil Dubord told CTV Vancouver. “From the community forums it was decided that in fact, we should be carrying naloxone kits.”
By issuing the kits to its officers, the Delta police is following in the footsteps of the R.C.M.P. Naloxone generally comes in the form of a nasal spray.
“Overall the cost was thirty thousand dollars,” Dubord said. “That gives all of our front line officers a kit. And those officers that are in secondary responses, they have access to a kit.”
It’s a step Dubord hopes will protect his concerned community, as well as his officers.
“Often, some of our officers arrive first and as a result they have to make immediate action -- lifesaving action to be able to protect our community,” Dubord said.
Other municipal police forces across the country are also looking to deploy the kits as the country struggles with an unprecedented opioid epidemic.
With files from CTV Vancouver