Ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) on August 31, 2019, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has launched the “Carry It Toolkit” an opioid overdose education campaign aimed at Canadian post-secondary students. The resources support educational institutions across Canada in preventing and responding to an opioid overdose on campus.
The opioid crisis in Canada is real and growing. Youth aged 15-24 have the second fastest-growing rates of hospitalizations from opioid harms in Canada. According to a new study from Angus Reid commissioned on behalf of CMHA, substance use is very common on campus, with 81% of Canadians saying that they have witnessed someone take recreational drugs at post-secondary school.
Despite this, a majority (53%) of Canadians said they would not know how to respond if they encountered someone experiencing an overdose. The Toolkit provides practical tools and resources to educate students, administrators, faculty and staff on how to identify and respond to an overdose when every second matters, as well as a sample protocol for making naloxone available on campus and for how to use, train, store and get access to naloxone.
The CMHA Carry It Toolkit is available at www.cmha.ca/carryit and was developed by CMHA with an unrestricted grant from Adapt Pharma Canada Ltd., the makers of NARCAN® Nasal Spray, which is a temporary antidote that can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.