Frequently Asked Questions About OHR Training
What is OHR Training?
Opioid Harm Reduction Training teaches participants to identify and respond to opioid poisonings. Opioid poisonings occur for individuals who use legal prescriptions and illicit substances. Removing stigma and preparing to respond are our most effective tools as a community to fight the opioid epidemic.
Is OHR Training Effective at saving lives?
This may sound obvious, but “people who use drugs are often hesitant to call emergency services when an overdose occurs” (Hanson 2020), which means that delayed emergency services could also mean a delay in the administration of life saving medication like Naloxone. Because Naloxone is easy to administer and safe to give to anyone, training the general public in the administration of Naloxone means that more people are ready to respond to poisonings. One Opioid Harm Reduction pilot project in Chicago found that opioid-related deaths fell 20% in the first year of peer-administered-Naloxone training (Hanson 2020).
How does Naloxone work?
Opioids work well as a part of pain management since it blocks receptors in the brain and slows breathing and heart rate which causes feelings of euphoria and mitigates anxiety. As a depressant, opioids in excessive amounts can cause breathing and heart rate to drop to a dangerously slow rhythm. Opioids can slow down this rhythm to the point of death.
Naloxone kicks out the opioid from the receptors in the brain and occupies the space that the opioid was sitting in to keep more opioids from attaching to the receptor. This gives the body a chance to expel any opioids that have not been absorbed by the receptor to prevent additional suppression of the respiratory and cardiac systems.
Who can administer Naloxone?
Anyone with Opioid Harm Reduction training can administer Naloxone. Naloxone is available as a vial and syringe or a nasal spray. Both are effective but the nasal spray method is more accessible to the general public. The kits that CFAT provides to participants in OHR training are nasal sprays.
Where can you get Naloxone?
Naloxone is available at a variety of locations, including CFAT. Klinic, London Drugs, Street Connections, the University of Winnipeg, Brothers Pharmacy, and a list of other locations have Naloxone available for the community. Having Naloxone and knowing how to use it are the most effective ways we as a community can address the opioid crisis.