The Foundation is currently involved in naloxone education activities and the development of teaching standards for naloxone education.
Smaller cities, towns, and villages are susceptible to the opioid crisis. Recent research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information has indicated that Canadian cities between 50,000 and 99,000 people have opioid overdose rates that are two and a half times larger than the rates in larger cities. Given the large geographic area of Ontario, it is harder to educate and train individuals in these smaller centres. The organization is focused on sending a team, led by pharmacists, to smaller centres to provide training and discuss the opioid crisis.
The Foundation focuses on training individuals who use opiates or opioids, individuals who previously used opiates or opioids who may be at risk of relapse, or any person who may be able to assist another person who is at risk of opiate or opioid overdose. Training is typically conducted in group sessions, and can take anywhere from twenty to forty minutes, depending on the group dynamic. All sessions are led by pharmacists, and every individual in the session will have communication with that pharmacist during the session.
Ontarians who are in a position to assist someone at risk of an opioid overdose are eligible to receive free naloxone kits. There is no need to disclose the details of how a participant may be able to assist someone. Rather, the emphasis is on reducing barriers for individuals who wish to have the training and a kit.
The Foundation has established training in several universities and technical schools across Ontario. Students are typically in the best position for helping others who are at risk of overdose, and often qualify for free naloxone kits. Training sessions can also include a twenty to thirty minute discussion about socioeconomic issues surrounding the crisis, which spurs good classroom discussion. Students who undertake the training are in a position to discuss their participation in interviews with potential employers, demonstrating an interest in issues affecting their community. Instructors interested in establishing a training session should contact the Foundation for further information.
The Foundation supports the training of corporate health and safety teams in the recognition of signs and symptoms of opiate and opioid overdose, as well as the administration of naloxone. Naloxone kits are also provided to the teams, customized to each work place.
During corporate training sessions, individuals who wish to have naloxone kits for personal use can also be accommodated.
The Foundation is involved in developing international standards for naloxone administration for bystanders. Such standards will be made available for educators and training groups with the goal of being able to provide consistent, effective responses to opioid overdoses.
Current training models for opiate and opioid overdose response involve the direct involvement of pharmacists. The Foundation aims to develop new models of training that employ pharmacists, but also employ assistant trainers to help provide the expansive training required to cover the large number of people for an effective public response to the crisis.