A new Canadian phone line aims to prevent fatal overdoses by allowing anyone who is alone to use drugs and drugs with their peers who can quickly call for help when things go bad

“People who have experienced an overdose or their peers have a kind of gut feeling or gut feeling about what’s going on and what’s going wrong because we’ve been there before,” said Rebecca Morris-Miller, who founded Grenfell Ministries in Hamilton after Years of drug use, homelessness and breaking the law

The National Overdose Response Service (NORS) is a collaboration between Grenfell Ministries and Brave Technology Co-op based in Vancouver and Columbus, Ohio

Anyone in Canada using a potentially fatal substance can dial a toll-free number and have someone available to call for help if needed A volunteer checks in regularly and calls 911 if there is no answer

The caller can also provide advance contact information for someone nearby with a naloxone kit – a helpful option for reversing an overdose in remote areas with long emergency response times

The phone line can be a connection to treatment and social services without pressure or judgment, said Morris-Miller

“You have to meet people where they are and let them make their journey to you”

Grenfell Ministries runs peer support and outreach groups and set up a phone line for overdose responses in Ontario in February

NORS starts with 16 peer volunteers and is looking for more A peer can be an active or recovering drug user or a front line worker

According to a recent federal report, between April and June of this year when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was 1628 apparent deaths from opioid toxicity

This is a 58 percent increase over the first three months of the year and the highest quarterly number since the Ottawa persecution began in 2016

“We have this terrible pandemic and people are trying to access services, but many places have been closed,” said Kim Ritchie, Grenfell executive director

“The border has been closed and the drugs have been cut with wilder and wilder stuff, leading to more deaths”

Oona Krieg, Brave’s chief operating officer, said NORS could reach people without cellular data or WiFi

Brave offers a variety of technological offerings to ensure drug users’ safety – all designed by people with personal experience – including a mobile app that connects drug users with remote monitoring

Other products include buttons to get help and sensors that can detect if someone is moving in a washroom or other enclosed space

“It just seemed like another tool to put in the proverbial tool belt,” Krieg said of NORS. “We need a multitude of solutions This problem is incredibly complex and incredibly multi-faceted”

Dr Monty Ghosh, a doctor treating vulnerable patients in Edmonton and Calgary, said he learned what the Brave and Grenfell departments were doing separately and suggested joining them nationally

In 2016, a telemedicine patient in northwest Alberta told Ghosh that he and a friend in Edmonton were using drugs on their phones through FaceTime so each could get help if the other overdosed

“The patient had a brilliant idea that I thought needed to be implemented,” said Ghosh Alberta had a remote surveillance pilot in the works, but the United Conservative government stopped him earlier this year

Provincial data shows the vast majority of overdose deaths occur in homes and outside city centers

Ghosh added that monitored consumption points are effective in preventing deaths from overdose within 500 meters. NORS is designed to reach drug users who live too far beyond or are reluctant to visit a website because of the stigma.

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680 NEWS

World News – CA – Canada-wide phone line launched to prevent deaths from overdose – 680 NEWS

Source: https://www.680news.com/2020/12/20/weve-been-there-before-national-phone-line-launches-to-prevent-overdose-deaths-2/