We can't ignore opioids. We can save lives

The opioid crisis is more widespread in Alberta than many people think. It’s worked its way into our cities, towns, suburbs and homes. Nobody is immune to the opioid crisis. Right now, there could be people in your life who are struggling with opioids. But there is hope. There are things we can all do to make sure those at risk of an overdose are safer.


Deaths per day in Alberta from drug overdose related to fentanyl (Jan-Dec 2017)

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Source: Alberta Health, Opioids and Substances of Misuse, Alberta Report, 2017 Q4

You can save a life

You can't save yourself during an OD, but we can save each other.
Please don't use drugs while alone, and don’t let those around you use while alone either. Only use while in the company of others.

How to Spot an Overdose

If you’re using drugs, or are with someone who is using, these are the signs and symptoms to watch out for. If they happen, don’t leave things to chance, call 911 immediately.
Canada’s new Good Samaritan law can protect you.

Learn more at

Signs & Symptoms of an Overdose

  • breathing is slow or not breathing at all
  • nails and/or lips are blue
  • choking or throwing up
  • making gurgling sounds
  • skin is cold and clammy
  • can’t wake them up

What to do if you Spot an Overdose

  • call 911 (Canada’s Good Samaritan law protects those saving the life of someone who overdoses)
  • if you have a naloxone kit follow the SAVE ME steps and instructions below

Naloxone SAVE ME Steps

Follow the SAVE ME steps to respond to an overdose. If the person must be left unattended at any time, put them in the recovery position (Mouth downward for fluid to drain from airway, chin up to keep throat open, arms and legs locked to stabilize position).

letter S

1. Stimulate

Perform sternal rub (with closed fist, rub knuckles up and down on person’s chest). If the person is unresponsive, call 911 if you haven’t already.

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2. Airway

Ensure nothing in the mouth is obstructing the airway.

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3. Ventilate

If this person is not breathing, plug their nose, tilt the head back and provide 1 breath every 5 seconds for 2 minutes. You should see the chest rise with each breath.

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4. Evaluate

If nothing changes, if they are still unresponsive and aren’t adequately breathing, inject Naloxone while you wait for first responders to arrive.

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5. Muscular Injection

  • Expose thigh as much as possible, divide into thirds, plan to inject into the middle section
  • Clean injection area with alcohol swab
  • Take cap off vial, clean vial with alcohol swab
  • Connect needle to syringe and draw up entire vial (1 mL of liquid)
  • Remove air bubbles in syringe
  • Hold needle like a dart and insert into middle of the thigh at 90°
  • Push down on the plunger slowly and steadily
  • Remove needle at 90° and dispose safely (back into kit container)

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6. Evaluate

  • Naloxone takes 2 – 5 minutes to start working
  • Continue rescue breathing for 2 minutes. If there’s no change, or if person is still unresponsive, draw 2nd dose of Naloxone
  • Continue rescue breathing until person becomes responsive or help arrives
  • If the person starts to breathe on their own, place in recovery position

Get Naloxone

When someone is overdosing from opioids, naloxone—which is free of charge—can be a temporary antidote and reverse an overdose. There is no shame in requesting a kit. You can save a life.

naloxone kit

Naloxone kits distributed in Alberta (Jan 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018)

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Source: AHS Public Health Surveillance and Infrastructure Surveillance and Reporting

Who can get naloxone

If you use, or know someone who does, or may be around street drugs, you can get a naloxone kit.

How to get naloxone

Naloxone saves lives. You do not need to present a health card, ID, or prescription. Visit any of the following:

To get naloxone, visit a pharmacy or a walk-in clinic:

map point Pharmacies and walk-in clinics carrying naloxone

PDF Naloxone walk-in clinics

PDF Pharmacies carrying naloxone

For training and setting up a naloxone program visit the Community Based Naloxone Program


Lost a Loved One?

If you’ve lost someone to an overdose, the grief can be unimaginable. But you do not have to go through it alone. Support is available. Call Health Link at 811 to find help nearby. For information on grief and grieving visit MyHealth.Alberta

Help & Support

Treatment for opioid dependency

Treatment options, information and resources on opioids are also available to patients, family, community agencies and health care professionals through an AHS Opioid Dependency Program as well as treatment clinics for opioid dependence.

Support is only a call away

If you need help or are concerned with someone else’s substance use, call:

  • Health Link at 811 or
  • 1-866-332-2322 the Addiction Helpline (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week)

We won't ignore opioids

Reduce Your Risk of Overdose
Supervised Consumption Sites
Info for Health Professionals