News / Calgary

Parents can’t obtain naloxone kits for their fentanyl-addicted kids: AHS

Due to “medico-legal reasons,” naloxone kits aren’t to be prescribed to family members not at risk of overdosing on opioids

A naloxone kit.

Metro File Photo

A naloxone kit.

A Calgary mom is outraged she can’t get naloxone for her fentanyl-addicted son. 

In fact, only an addict can get a prescription for a naloxone kit, Metro learned Sunday. Naloxone is an antidote that can reverse fentanyl overdoses. 

“At this time, third party prescribing (i.e. to a family member who is not at risk of opioid overdose) is not permitted for medico-legal reasons,” said Dr. Nick Etches, medical officer of health with Alberta Health Services, in an email.

Karla, who does not wish to have her last name published, has been dealing with her son Sam's fentanyl addiction for months. She said Sam has been in and out of detox centres numerous times. 

She said she’s inquired about getting a kit for Sam, but was told only addicts can get them. 

For addicts — especially teens in the suburbs — venturing to one of the city’s distribution sites isn’t necessarily their top priority, she said. 

“There is a lot relying on parents,” she said. “In a life or death situation (at home), parents would need access to (the kit).”

The kits, though, are like a fire extinguisher — the solution lies in a more comprehensive detox strategy, where long-term public treatment centres can be created, she said.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures. We need city, provincial and federal funding to help save our children. We as parents need more power once our children turn 16. The system is not protecting the addicts by giving them power over their own incapacitated minds, at any age. Maybe we need to divert some of the provincial and federal funding to saving the lives of our future."

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