A simple harm-reduction pitch from Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry students has resulted in real action in London.
Naloxone kits, which reverse opioid overdose long enough to seek medical help, will soon be included in city-operated facilities alongside automated external defibrillators (AEDs). Third-year medical students Rebecca Barnfield and Trystan Nault were two of the many students whose proposal was spurred London’s high rate of hospital admissions from opioid overdoses – a rate higher than in larger cities like Toronto and Ottawa.
The students met with London’s Community and Protective Services committee, which voted unanimously to ask staff to report back with a plan to add naloxone kits to the 53 AEDs in city facilities. Full council endorsed the plan and city staff have now been directed by council to work out an implementation plan and train staff to use the kits.