CDN: N.S. issues warning to public after two drug overdoses in Halifax area were resistant to naloxone

CTV News –

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia Health issued a warning to the public on Monday after receiving reports of two drug overdoses in the Halifax area that were resistant to naloxone.

In the release, the department says a community organization witnessed the two overdoses Sunday night. They say both individuals were believed to have been using both “Sweet Tarts” and “XANAX.”

“Sweet Tarts appear like the multi-coloured, chaulk-like ‘rocket’ candies, with a clear coating that contains the drug,” wrote public health in a release on Monday. “The XANAX were yellow pills in a bar shape with the word ‘XANAX.'”

Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to reverse the effects of opioids.

Amanda Hudson-Frigault is the eMental Health and Addictions Community Consultant at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. She says naloxone does not work for overdoses that do not involve opioids, such as cocaine and other medications.

Hudson-Frigault says another major issue is drug-contamination in the province.

“We do know that the drug supply in Nova Scotia is contaminated. Often times, people do not know what they are consuming,” said Hudson-Frigault.

Two years ago, Nova Scotia started covering the costs of naloxone for anyone who needed it. Today, it is available in most, if not all pharmacies across Nova Scotia.

There is no charge to get naloxone and no prescription is required.

Amanda Flynn, a pharmacist in Halifax, says the naloxone kits are user-friendly. She says they typically contain two shots,because one may not be enough at times.

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