Thompson Rivers University’s Wellness Centre has been approved by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control to distribute naloxone kits.
The university says the effort is meant to keep students and staff safe.
The 2017 calendar year is already the deadliest yet for illicit drug overdose deaths. As of the end of September, there had been 914 fentanyl-detected overdose deaths in the province, a 147 per cent increase over same period in 2016, according to the BC Coroners Service.
Those 914 deaths this year constitute nearly 50 per cent of all fentanyl-related deaths, 1,885 in total, in the past five years.
This year, Kamloops has seen 25 fentanyl-detected overdose deaths, and 61 since 2012.
TRU isn’t the first university to offer naloxone kits on campus. Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo started offering kits in January 2016 as a proactive measure.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose (including heroin, methadone, fentanyl and morphine) and is usually injected into a muscle, according to harm reduction project Toward the Heart.
Students and employees can access the kits and training at the Wellness Centre in OM 1479.
Last week, the Wellness Centre held events in Old Main and the trades building, including a table talk called Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate. That’s a message some in the TRU community know too well following the death of vice-president advancement Christopher Seguin in September.