Free Overdose Prevention Workshops in Courtenay
July 9, 2021
The City of Courtenay and AVI Health and Community Services have partnered to offer free overdose prevention workshops this summer, covering topics such as how to recognize an overdose (both opioid and stimulant), proper disposal of sharps and hands-on Naloxone training, and the most effective way to save a life in the case of an opioid overdose. All participants will learn the broad strokes of harm reduction principles and will receive a free Naloxone kit for their home or workplace.
The free workshop is open to all members of the public but pre-registration is required. Workshops are scheduled Tuesday, July 20, 7 – 8:30 p.m. or Wednesday, August 18th, 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Florence Filberg Centre Rotary Hall.
The overdose public health emergency, declared in 2016, has claimed the lives of almost 7,000 British Columbians. 2020 was the worst year on record with about 17,159 overdose events compared to 13,486 in 2019. The BC Centre for Disease Control states that illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020 exceeded combined deaths from motor vehicle, suicide, and homicide.
“Contrary to some misperceptions, overdose can happen to anyone who uses, not just those with substance use disorders.” says Kayla Funk, the Health Promotion Educator with AVI Health and Community Services in Courtenay.
“It’s the weekend partier, it’s the person using prescription opioids for their chronic pain and it’s the individual who’s using for the first time or the thousandth time. Fentanyl and its analogues have been found in every drug, from heroin and crystal meth to cocaine and pressed pills, and the drug supply is becoming more and more toxic. Education is crucial for prevention, and knowing how to use Naloxone could prevent your friend, your sibling or your colleague from becoming another life lost to the opioid crisis.”