SaultOnline’s outreach continues.
In sticking with our plan to research and share local resources in Sault Ste. Marie for issues such as addictions and mental health, this week, I chose to tackle a topic that has sparked a lot of debate in our community, naloxone.
Like most contentious issues, the subject of naloxone is surrounded by a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding, and ignorance.
I hope to help eradicate some of that by sharing with all of you some of the information I have found through hours of digging and sifting through information, some time spent at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre (NRC), and conversations with and resources provided by the Ontario Pharmacists Association.
Let’s start with the question, where can I get a naloxone kit?
There is no shortage of locations. To break it down for you….
West End Pharmacy (Pharmasave) – Opened Monday to Friday 8:30am-7pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-6pm and located at 658 Second Line W.
Shoppers Drug Mart – Opened 9am-9pm Monday to Friday, Saturday from 9am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-5pm and located at 364 Second Line West. Call 705-945-1215 or visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca for more information.
The Medicine Shoppe – Opened 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday 9am-2pm and located at 316 Second Line West. Visit www. Medicineshoppe.ca for more information or call 705-253-0720.
IDA Market Mall Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday 0am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Snuday 10am-5pm, and located at 275 Second Line West. Call 705-254-7329 for more information.
Rexall – Opened 9:00am-9:00pm Monday to Friday and located at 13 Second Line West, on the corner of Second Line and Wellington. Visit http://www.rexall.ca or call 705-942-0873.
Merrett’s Pharmacy Ltd – opened Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday from 9am-5pm, and located at 314 Wellington St. W. Call 705-945-8465 for more information.
Central Drug Mart – Opened 9:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9:30am-2:30pm, located in the Station Mall (293 Bay St.) as part of the Station Mall Clinic. Call 705-450-1715 for more information.
Wal-Mart Pharmacy – Opened 9am-10pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am-8pm on Sunday, located in the Station Mall (293 Bay St.) Call 705-942-7989 for more information.
Algoma Public Health Needle Exchange Program at John Howard Society – In addition to needle exchange and harm reduction supplies, APH can also provide Naloxone nasal spray kits. Located at 27 King St., and available from 1pm-4pm Monday to Friday. Call 705-942-4646 ext. 3148 for more information.
Rexall – Opened Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:30pm, located in the Medical Arts Building at 170 East St. Call 705-759-3370 for more information.
Canadian Addictions Treatment Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am-12pm and located at 500 Queen St. E. Call 705-256-7444 for more information.
Medical Centre Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and located at 974 Queen St. E. Call 705-759-0522 for more information.
Medicine Shoppe – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and located at 955 Queen St. E. Call 705-253-3206 for more information.
Wal-Mart Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, and Sunday 9am-5pm, and located at 446 Great Northern Rd. Call 705-945-8364.
Metro Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm, located at 248 Northern Ave. E. Call 705-945-1006 for more information.
Algoma Public Health – Wednesdays from 9am-12pm, located at 294 Willow Ave. Training can be requested at alternate times with APH main office or at NEP (Needle Exchange Program). Call 705-942-4646 ext. 3148 for more information.
Loblaw Pharmacy – Monday to Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-5pm, located at 44 Great Northern Road, at Rome’s Independent Grocer’s. Call 705-253-2887
Medicine Shoppe – Opened from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday 9am-2pm. They are also opened 9am-10am on holidays. Located at 59 Great Northern Road, in the Superior Shopping Centre. Call 705-942-3752 for more information.
Group Health Centre Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-7pm and Saturday 10am-2pm, and located at 240 McNabb St. Call 705-759-5578 for more information.
Drug Basics Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday, 9am-6pm, and Sunday 11am-5pm, located at 701 Pine St. in the Food Basics. Call 705-945-8725 for more information.
Group Health Centre Hep C Program – Monday to Friday 8:30am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm, located at 240 McNabb St. In addition to providing Hep C testing and support, they also provide harm reduction services. Call 705-541-2319 for more information, or call Outreach Worker Desiree Beck directly at 705-943-4372.
Rexall – Opened 9am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-10pm on Sunday, located at 129 Trunk Rd. Call 705-253-3254 for more information.
Metro Pharmacy – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm, and located in the Churchill plaza at 150 Churchill Blvd. Call 705-243-7070 for more information.
Ideal Drug Mart – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm, located at 1416 Wellington St. E. Call 705-941-9530 for more information.
Wellington Square Drug Mart – Opened Monday to Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm, located at 625 Trunk Rd. in the Wellington Square Mall. Call 705-945-8088 for more information.
As of March 27th, 2018, all Ontario pharmacies may dispense both intra-nasal naloxone spray and injectable naloxone kits free-of-charge to patients through the Ontario Naloxone Pharmacy Program.
Since this is relatively new, many, but not all, locations are now offering nasal spray naloxone and offering naloxone training sessions and information. Places such as Algoma Public Health and the NRC should be contacted for more information on this.
Please ask your pharmacist what they have.
WHO CAN GET A NALOXONE KIT:
You are eligible for a free naloxone kit if you are a current or past opioid user at risk of using again, a family member, friend, or person able to help someone at risk of an opioid overdose, a client of a needle syringe program or hepatitis C program, or newly released from a correctional facility.
You do not need a prescription or a valid Ontario health card number to receive a naloxone kit.
It is available. It is simple. It is free. If you need one, or you fear someone you love may need one – get one. Don’t wait until it is too late.
Please remember that if you are with someone who has overdosed, even if you have a Naloxone kit, call 911 immediately for assistance.
Police Services and Emergency Medical Services also have naloxone kits.
Stay tuned for future posts regarding what is beyond naloxone and harm reduction – treatment services in our area.
Keep in mind that the field of naloxone and Narcan in Sault Ste. Marie – and across the country right now – is ever changing, so this list may not be exhaustive.
The field is changing so quickly in fact, that it is difficult for community organizations and health professionals to keep on top of it.
Throughout my journey of research into the dynamics of Sault Ste. Marie’s healthcare, resources, and opioid use, I have uncovered through sources at the NRC that community organizations like NRC will, within the next month or so, be receiving training so that they too can dispense naloxone on-site.
This is all in an effort to make naloxone more readily available in order to prevent opioid-caused deaths from occurring in Sault Ste. Marie, a community that has been devastated by loss of life as a result of drug addiction.
Legislation is continually changing and the breadth and availability of naloxone is likely to increase in order to combat the opioid crisis. Please stay in regular contact with your pharmacist and other community organizations to stay in the know.
If you missed any of our previous outreach articles, no worries. Shelter resources can be found here, NRC information and food resources can be found here, and job and skill development resources can be here.
More elaborate information on where and how to get a naloxone kit can be found here.