The Toronto Transit Commission says it is “improving access” to naloxone — a rapid-response drug used to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — throughout the system.
The TTC made the announcement on Tuesday, saying kits containing naloxone nasal sprays are now available at collector booths and hubs in its stations.
“In the event of an opioid overdose emergency, designated trained TTC employees may administer naloxone when safe to do so, to temporarily reverse the effects,” the TTC said in a news release.
TTC CEO Rick Leary said if someone sees a person who may be experiencing an opioid overdose, they should alert TTC station staff who will “immediately call for emergency services.”
“Designated TTC staff will then initiate the emergency response using naloxone,” Leary said. “Staff may also provide the naloxone to a bystander who volunteers to administer it.”
According to the TTC, designated employees are certified in first aid, and have completed training on how to administer naloxone.
The company said once all of the training is complete, around 730 staff members will be trained on opioid overdose prevention, recognition and response.
This will include over 100 special constables who will carry the drug with them, the TTC said.
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow said if administered in time, naloxone can “save a person’s life.”
“An overdose can occur anywhere, so it’s important to know that help is immediately available if you think you’re witnessing an opioid overdose in a TTC station,” she said in a statement.
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“I thank the TTC for making naloxone available in all subway stations.”
TTC Chair Jamaal Myers said he is “pleased” that the TTC is making naloxone available, and providing training to staff.
“”Health and safety is one of the TTC’s priorities,” he said. “This announcement is a step towards not only increasing safety but also has the potential to save lives.”
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