August 31: World Overdose Day

August 31: World Overdose Day

Since 2001, an International Overdose Awareness Day has been held every August 31. On this occasion, the Addiction federation has chosen to highlight a Quebec experiment conducted in the field: the Profan 2.0 program (Prevent and reduce overdoses – Train and access naloxone). The North American continent is particularly affected by the issue of overdoses, hence the development of programs dedicated to this public health problem. The Profan 2.0 program aims to “prevent and respond to opioid overdoses, aiming to empower everyone in opioid overdose prevention and reduction”. What is the situation in Quebec? “Since March 2020, with the pandemic, the rate of overdoses in Quebec has increased considerably. Following the closure of borders, street drug sales networks had to set up clandestine laboratories to manufacture synthetic molecules, including fentanyl and several of its analogues. Whether by cross-contamination, or voluntarily, several substances have been contaminated by these new molecules, thus causing several overdoses and overdose deaths,” explain, in an interview, Barbara Rivard and Camille Sabella-Garnier who work on the Profan 2.0 program. For its part, the Addiction federation recalls that with its partners (in particular the SAFE association) several tools (still too little known) have been created in order to make known Naloxone, this antidote to opiate overdoses. The tools are posters and flyers and above all the inter-associative platform Naloxone, intended for people treated with opioids, people who use opioid drugs, families and relatives, accompanying persons as well as health and medico-social professionals. It is suitable for computers and responsive on tablets and phones. This online platform includes seven-step training, presented chronologically: Know the essential information about opioid overdoses; Ensure the protection of the victim and witnesses; Alert the emergency services; Administer Naloxone; Release the respiratory tract and take stock of the victim’s condition; Place the victim in the Lateral Safety Position (PLS); Perform cardiac massage if necessary. The flyers and the platform have been updated with the availability of Nyxoid, the nasal spray version of Naloxone.

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