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Fentanyl and Naloxone Information

Across Canada drug-related overdoses and deaths have become a serious concern. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley and his team are working to raise awareness and provide education on the danger of fentanyl and other high-potency opioid drugs.

NEW -  An Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator is now available part time to provide training on how to use the take-home naloxone kit, to distribute prevention materials and respond to your questions. You can reach the coordinator at 867-667-5056.

2016 - “Fentanyl can be deadly” campaign

Launched during November, 2016 National Addictions Awareness Week. The campaign will run again in November 2017.

Overdoses are a risk for both prescription and recreational drug users. Drugs that are not prescribed to you can be deadly. The objectives of the “Fentanyl can be deadly” awareness campaign are to promote and prevent fentanyl-related overdoses.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate narcotic, a prescription drug used primarily by cancer patients in severe pain. It is roughly 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine.

Fentanyl overdose signs

We urge you to learn the fentanyl overdose signs:

  • Severe sleepiness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing (slow, shallow and snoring)
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Trouble walking or talking
By recognizing the signs early you can save someone's life.

Learn more here:

If any of these signs are observed in someone who is known to, or suspected of, taking fentanyl or any other opioid medication (OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, codeine, heroin, morphine), call 9-1-1 immediately.

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and the immediate use of an antidote like naloxone can reverse the effects of fentanyl, but higher doses than usual may be needed and repeated doses are often required. Call 9-1-1 in all suspected overdoses.

Free take-home naloxone kits are now available across Yukon

(NEW:  The Opioid Overdose Prevention Coordinator offers public training on how to use the take-home naloxone kit, every Wednesday at ADS starting at 4:30 p.m., no signup necessary.)

Naloxone is a safe drug used to temporarily reverse overdoses caused by opioid drugs. It can buy time and save lives before the paramedics arrive. Naloxone acts fast (usually within 3-5 minutes), and the protective effect lasts for 20 to 90 minutes. It is not a substitute for immediate medical attention as it is a temporary treatment that quickly wears off: always call 911 if you have used a naloxone kit.

  • A 20 to 40 minute training session to learn how to use the kit and identify the signs of overdoses is offered when you pick-up your free kit.
  • The kits include: 2 syringes, 2 vials of naloxone, gloves, a CPR face shield, and alcohol wipes.

You can ask for your free take-home naloxone kit at the following sites:

Look for this sign 

Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost and Dr. Brendan Hanley, Chief Medical Officer of Health provided information on the Take Home Naloxone Kits program on January 21, 2017. See the Live Stream video below.

There is help to stop using fentanyl or other drugs

For those who may need assistance in stopping their use of fentanyl or other drugs, there is help

  • They can talk to their doctor or community health nurse and let them know they need help.
  • In the communities: they can talk to their local Community Addiction Worker and let them know they need help: toll free 1-855-667-5777 and ask to speak to the Community Addiction Worker for your community.
  • IN Whitehorse: they can call Alcohol and Drug Services and book at appointment to see a counsellor, or come to drop-in counsellings:
    - Call 667-5777 or toll free 1-855-667-5777
    - Drop in counselling: Wednesdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sarah Steele Building at 609 Steele Street.
  • For help in safely withdrawing from fentanyl or other drugs, they can go to Withdrawal Management Services at 609 Steele Street or call 867-667-5777 and ask for Withdrawal Management Services.


Opioid overdose signs and symptoms

Don't Use Alone

  • Breathing will be slow or absent
  • Person is not moving
  • You may hear gurgling sounds or snoring
  • Skin Feels cold and clammy
  • Lips and nails are blue
  • Person may be choking
  • Can't be woken up
  • Pupils are tiny

Call 911 Immediately

Contact info

Addiction - Resources for general public

Business hours:
From Whitehorse (8:00 am – 4:30 pm)    667-5777
From communities, no charge (8:00 am – 4:30 pm) 1-855-667-5777

For after-hours support:
From Whitehorse (4:30 pm – 8:00 am) 667-8473
From communities, no charge (4:30 pm – 8:00 am) 1-855-667-5777

Phone: 867-667-5777

Toll Free (Yukon, Nunavut and NWT); 1-855-667-5777

Mailing Address:

Addiction - Resources for general public (H-7)
Health & Social Services, Government of Yukon
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6

Location: Sarah Steele Building |609 Steele Street | Whitehorse, Yukon [map]


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