Frequently Asked Opioid and Naloxone Questions

In response to the rising number of opioid poisonings (overdoses) across Canada since the emergence of COVID-19, St. John Ambulance is working with Employment and Social Development Canada and Health Canada to provide Naloxone training and nasal Naloxone kits free of charge to agencies in the homelessness-serving sector nationwide. The program is geared toward frontline staff and volunteers who may be responding to opioid poisonings and who would otherwise lack access to training and/or nasal Naloxone kits.

Have questions? Contact us here

Who qualifies for the kits and training?

We are able to support organizations across Canada (excluding Quebec) who are actively supporting  individuals experiencing homelessness, and who need training on how to respond to an opioid poisoning. We will provide free training and free Naloxone kits, or connect you with existing programs who may be able to support your needs locally. 

* Due to funding structures we do not operate in Quebec, persons in Quebec who want more information related to opioid response can visit PROFAN.

Who can register with SJA’s Naloxone Training Program?

Staff and volunteers at organizations anywhere in Canada, excluding Quebec, that are unable to access nasal naloxone for their sites through other channels, such as their local public health unit, and that serve individuals experiencing homelessness. This could include shelters, outreach sites, community centres, and more. Contact us to learn more if you’re unsure whether you qualify.

How can I register?
What is included in the training portion of this program?

The training portion of this course consists of a virtual 90-minute interactive presentation led by an instructor with many years of experience as a frontline worker in shelters and other community organizations. Content includes information on harm reduction, recognizing the signs of an opioid poisoning, responding to a poisoning, and self-care following a traumatic event.

What is included in each nasal Naloxone kit?

Each nasal Naloxone kit consists of a hard case that holds 2 doses of nasal naloxone, a one-way breathing barrier, one pair of non-latex gloves, a card indicating that the kit owner is trained to administer Naloxone, and a fold out poster with information on how to administer Naloxone.

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone, sometimes known as NARCAN, is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid poisoning and allow time for medical help to arrive. Naloxone will restore normal breathing to a person whose breathing has slowed or shallowed because of an opioid poisoning, and will not cause harm if given to someone not experiencing an opioid poisoning or who is experiencing a poisoning from a different substance. It is available in two delivery forms: Intramuscular & Intranasal.

Who can use nasal Naloxone kits supplied by St. John Ambulance?

Our nasal Naloxone kits may only be distributed to workers who have completed the training portion of this program, for use in the event of an opioid poisoning at their worksite. Please note that we are not able to supply kits for distribution to clients or the general public.

How many nasal Naloxone kits can my organization order through this program?

Your order size may depend on the size of your organization and the frequency of poisoning events at your sites and in your community. As a general rule, we recommend that organizations order 2 kits per participant so that each trained worker at your site always has access to a sufficient number of Naloxone doses in case of an emergency. While we may be able to offer a larger shipment depending on need, we have a limited number of kits we are able to distribute and so cannot guarantee that we will be able to fulfill all requests.

Is there a fee to register?

No. Both our training course and nasal Naloxone kits are offered free of charge to eligible organizations

Quebec residents

* Due to funding structures we do not operate in Quebec, persons in Quebec who want more information related to opioid response can visit PROFAN.