A naloxone anti-overdose kit is shown in Vancouver, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Naloxone kits to be provided to TDSB secondary schools

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A drug that can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose will soon be provided to secondary schools within the Toronto District School Board.

On Wednesday night, the board approved a plan to train two to three staff members at each school on how to properly spot an overdose and administer naloxone to combat its effects.

According to TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird, the training will begin before the March break and be completed by the end of April.

He said that the naloxone kits will be provided to schools only after the completion of the training.

A TDSB staff report says that the naloxone kits will be stocked in an “accessible location” so that they can be easily retrieved in the event of a suspected overdose.

Naloxone can reverse the effect of an opioid overdose within three to five minutes, Toronto Public Health says. The drug works by temporarily removing the opioids from the receptor sites in the brain.

Ambulances and fire trucks in Toronto already carry naloxone, though police do not.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders has previously objected to having his officers carry naloxone because other first responders usually arrive at the site of overdose calls first.

Toronto Public Health says that the number of deaths from opioid overdoses in the city rose by 77 per cent between 2004 and 2014.

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