Today is Overdose Awareness Day
We have some exciting new harm reduction materials to show off developed for Toward the Heart
Naloxone Saves Lives
We have a longstanding relationship with BC Centre for Disease Control's Harm Reduction program having developed their Toward the Heart website & e-Zine. In late 2015, they approached us about creating two videos to train participants in their Take Home Naloxone program, one for youth and one for adults.
Naloxone is the lifesaving medication that quickly and effectively reverses overdoses from opioids like heroin, methadone, fentanyl and more. BC has developed a program to distribute kits to people at high risk and provide training in its use.
We first created the adult version, Naloxone Saves Lives, which launched in April 2016 just as it was announced that naloxone would now be available behind the counter at pharmacies. Previously, a prescription was required to obtain it, which prevented the families and loved ones of opioid users from getting access. Now anyone who wishes to carry naloxone to respond to an opioid overdose is able to get training and purchase it through a community pharmacy. We're thrilled that the video has become an important training piece for both pharmacists and Take Home Naloxone program participants!
At the same time, BC declared a public health emergency on April 14th in response to the dramatic rise in overdose deaths that have been linked to fentanyl, a toxic synthetic opioid that is much more potent than morphine or heroin. Fentanyl has increasingly been appearing on the streets and cut into other drugs, often without people knowing it.
At current rates, BC is on track to have over 800 overdose deaths this year, a massive jump from last year. Just a few days ago, there was another spike in Vancouver showing how important naloxone access and training is. It's easy to use, completely safe and really does give people the power to save lives - within minutes.
Naloxone Wakes You Up
Just in time for Overdose Awareness Day, we've launched the youth version: Naloxone Wakes You Up.
One reason we created a video oriented towards youth was in response to their feedback about how to improve the Take Home Naloxone program, the result of a study called Naloxone and the Inner City Youth Experience. They had very positive messages about the program, feeling it empowered them and showed that people cared.
We worked with the wonderful staff at Vancouver's Inner City Youth to develop an art booklet that featured the youths' meaningful comments alongside illustrations by other youth artists. Since we were in post-production at the time, we were able to work the material into the video as well. We've since adapted selections into postcards with information how to recognize and respond to an overdose on the flip side. These have been distributed across the province in time for Overdose Awareness Day.
All the materials have been extremely well received and extra printing runs are in the works. On our end, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with all the people involved on an issue that is dear to our hearts.
This Overdose Awareness Day, help us spread the message that overdose death is preventable. Share our videos and tweet using the hashtag #OverdoseAware2016.
For more information about what the Provinical Harm Reduction Program has been up to, you can read their just released e-Zine, which we helped put together.
Naloxone Video Credits
We would gratefully like to acknowledge all the wonderful people involved in creating the videos.
Plus short trailer and experts
Toward The Heart
Hello Cool World Media
in collaboration with
BCCDC Harm Reduction Program
and the Naloxone and the Inner City Youth Experience Research Project.
Director of Photography
“Naloxone Saves Lives”
Appearing in the dramatizations
Guy who overdoses
Friends who use naloxone on him
Dr. Jane Buxton
Dr. Roy Purssell
“Naloxone Wakes You Up”
Appearing in the dramatizations
Girl who overdoses
Youth Artists whose artwork is featured in booklet & video
Kelsie Young Eaton
BC Centre for Disease Control Team
First Nations Health Authority Team
Naloxone & the Inner City Youth Experience Team