Harm Reduction and Take Home Naloxone in BC First Nations Communities


Harm reduction aims to meet people where they are at with open arms, acceptance, and compassion - not judgment or shame. Harm reduction recognizes that every life is valuable and that substance use and addiction are complex and challenging. 

Take Home Naloxone is a provincial program run through the BC Centre for Disease Control that aims to expand access to naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug that prevents overdose death.  Physicians and NPs can write prescriptions for Naloxone. With the expansion of this program, Naloxone kits can  also be ordered and dispensed by registered nurses to people with past or current opioid use (prescription or non-prescription). It is crucial for community health nurses to be engaged with people who are using drugs; otherwise, this life-saving treatment will not reach those most in need.   

To register your community as a Take Home Naloxone site, complete the attached BCTHN New Site Registration Package and fax to  (604) 707-2516. If you have any questions about the registration process, email: outreach@towardtheheart.com. For additional information on naloxone, follow this link: http://towardtheheart.com/naloxone/

Please find online the following documents:

BC Take Home Naloxone New Site Registration Package - http://www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/BCTHN-New-Site-Package.pdf

PowerPoint on Harm Reduction and Take Home Naloxone in First Nations Communities -

Naloxone Decision Support Tool Prepared by the BCCDC for the College of Registered Nurses of BC - http://www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/NaloxoneDSTBCCDCMay302013.pdf

FNHA Naloxone Briefing Note to Community Health Nurses - http://www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/FNHA-Naloxone-CHN-Outline-Info.pdf

BCCDC Harm Reduction Strategies and Services Committee Policy and Guidelines document (contains a policy statement on page 2, which could easily be adapted for a community-level harm reduction policy or Band Council Resolution). - http://www.fnha.ca/WellnessSite/WellnessDocuments/BCHRSSPolicyFinalMay2011.pdf


If your community requires immediate support for Take Home Naloxone training, such as following an overdose in the community, FNHA can provide support.  Contact Janine Stevenson to set up a training: Janine.Stevenson@fnha.ca

Stay tuned to the FNHA Youtube Channel for posting of the Learning Circle video: www.youtube.com/user/fnhealthcouncil

For more information and/or assistance with questions about harm reduction, please contact Janine Stevenson, Nurse Specialist in Harm Reduction: Janine.Stevenson@fnha.ca