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Ask Someone What a Naloxone Kit Is and Most Americans Would Shrug. In Barrie, Ontario, They're a Common Sight

Mark Mandell, Esq

Naloxone Kits are designed to help reverse the effects of a drug overdose. In Barrie, Ontario these are a common sight and needed far more than one would expect.

Canada continues to suffer from a country-wide Opioid crisis that killed nearly 4,000 Canadians last year. Barrie seems to be suffering some of the worst effects of the crisis, with the small city reporting 36 overdose-related deaths. The events have come as a surprise to many of the residents of Barrie, a city that normally gets only a handful of deaths a year, a few from crime or auto accidents.

The drug addiction rate preys on many of the pockets of poverty within the city. Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and drug clinics seem to be points of vulnerability for drug exposure within the city. The epidemic has reached such a point that the sight of "Naloxone Kits Available Here" posted on signs hanging outside pharmacies is a common sight.

With these kinds of statistics for drug abuse, one would think Barrie would be the prime site for an overdose-prevention site. Sites like these allow a drug user a safe place to dose themselves, with the proper supplies and personnel on hand to deal with an overdose.

Unfortunately, Premier Doug Ford, a recently elected Canadian official, has opposed the sites. With his opposition the number of sites across the country, Barrie's chances at getting one such site seem low.

The opposition to the sites stems from them being a somewhat touchy subject for many. Conservative officials vehemently oppose the idea, claiming that a drug injection site would tarnish the city's historic downtown.

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