The fentanyl crisis in B.C. continues to worsen.
In the past five years, the province has gone from 12 fentanyl-related deaths to 823 between between January and August this year.
There have been no fentanyl-related deaths reported in Revelstoke, but RCMP still believe that the powerful opioid has made its way into the community.
With the number of fatalities in the province climbing, it makes sense that community institutions would arm themselves with a resource to combat opioid overdoses.
The drug combats the effects of an opioid overdose, acting fast, but not long.
Local RCMP and paramedics are equipped to administer the drug. Within the last year, Revelstoke Fire and Rescue Services got trained and can administer the drug. And last month, some staff at the high school received training to go along with the two new Naloxone kits now sitting in the school’s medical room.
“It was very clear that we had a very low probability of the need to use them, but if we ever had a situation, the consequences of not having one on site would be extremely high,” said principal Greg Kenyon.
The school underwent a risk assesment and the result was that it was at a low-risk. That shouldn’t come as a surprise in a town where there have been no fentanyl-related deaths reported.
But being prepared isn’t a bad thing.
The Naloxone kits even arrived at the school before its first AED, an automated external defibrillator, which diagnoses life-threatening heart arrythmias and can treat them through electrical therapy.
While some may question the kits as being an enabler for drug use at a high school, it would be ridiculous not to have them.
Schools in surrounding districts already have them and Interior Health is offering support.
Better safe, than sorry.