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As prescription drug experts, pharmacists are uniquely positioned to educate their patients about the safe use of medications. They are on the frontlines of working with patients who are prescribed opioids for pain control, as well as helping patients who are prescribed opioid agonist medications manage their treatment for an opioid use disorder. Their role is essential in lowering the risks that come with opioid use – like developing an opioid use disorder or having an overdose.

To help save lives during B.C.’s current overdose crisis, Save-On-Foods Pharmacies have partnered with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to promote the safer use of prescription opioids in all of our pharmacies across the province. The next time you visit a Save-On-Foods pharmacy, you will see:

  • In-store signage encouraging people to ask pharmacists about how to prevent and respond to an opioid overdose
  • Handouts explaining how to prevent and respond to an overdose when you ask a pharmacist about overdose prevention or request a naloxone kit
  • Overdose prevention information on prescription bags
  • Extra information and guidance if you fill a prescription for opioids

Quick Facts

  • Many people have used prescription opioids without problems. But serious problems, including overdose and addiction, have happened. Your pharmacist can help you reduce risks
  • Toxic drugs are contaminating the illegal drug supply across Canada. Fentanyl – a highly toxic synthetic opioid – has been found in nearly all street drugs, other than cannabis.
  • Last year, over 1,400 people in B.C. passed away after having an overdose. Overdose deaths are 100% preventable.
  • Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose from opioids. Naloxone is available at most Save-On-Foods pharmacies in B.C. without a prescription.

The overdose crisis is affecting people from all walks of life. These people are friends, brothers and sisters, mothers, and co-workers -people with loved ones that contribute to our communities. Pharmacists play a significant role; from advising patients on the risks of taking opioid medicines, to distributing naloxone kits, to dispensing medications such as methadone and buprenorphine combined with naloxone (e.g. trade name Suboxone) to treat those with an opioid use disorder who are working towards recovery. Ask our pharmacists about how you can prevent and respond to an overdose. Learn more at StopOverdoseBC.ca.