Toronto Music Venues and Bars to Carry Antidote for Opioid Overdose

Local bars are stocking up on Naloxone kits

In the face of what is being referred to as an opioid crisis, some Toronto music venues and bars are stocking up on Naloxone — a medication that is used to temporarily block the effects of an opioid overdose, including fentanyl.

Although carrying Naloxone isn’t required by the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, many local bars have taken matters into their own hands by purchasing kits from various pharmacies. Lee’s Palace was one of the earlier bars to do so, paving the way for other local bars to take initiative.

“Any possible way to avoid somebody seriously OD-ing and possibly dying, I think it’s the responsibility of everybody who manages and runs these spaces (to do it),” Less Bar owner Carmen Elle told the Toronto Star. “Why wouldn’t we all just do that? It’s so easy.”

In 2016, around 3000 deaths in Canada were opioid-related, and that number is expected to increase by the end of this year.

Naloxone is available without a prescription at pharmacies in Ontario.

Photo courtesy John Vetterli via Flickr.