UPDATE (Feb. 16/18): The following topic has been updated.
CLICK HERE for current guidance on this issue.
Update (Feb. 16/18) – The following was edited with an updated Fact Sheet. For current information, CLICK HERE.
As deaths and emergency care visits related to fentanyl and other opioid overdoses in Alberta continue to rise, the provincial government has been pursuing various measures to combat the opioid crisis and focus on harm reduction.
Naloxone can be used to temporarily reverse opioid overdoses and the government has worked to unschedule the drug in over 900 community settings across Alberta in order to make it readily available. As an unscheduled drug in these settings, Take Home Naloxone Kits can be distributed free of charge and without a prescription directly to clients in certain community agencies registered with Alberta Health Services.
The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA) developed a Fact Sheet: Naloxone and the Role of the Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta to provide members with information on protecting the public by providing education and interventions to prevent and counteract opioid overdoses.
Update (Feb. 16/18) – The information struck out below is no longer current. For current information, CLICK HERE.
The LPN role will vary since Naloxone has not been unscheduled in all settings (for instance in hospital settings, Naloxone is still a Schedule 2 drug) and LPNs do not presently have the regulatory authority to dispense drugs. In registered community agencies, LPNs may distribute the Take Home Naloxone Kits to clients and an important part of their role will be to provide client education around the indications and instructions for Kit use. In hospital settings, LPNs may not dispense these Kits to clients; although, LPNs may be asked to administer Naloxone to clients under a client-specific physician order or medical protocol.
Regardless of the care setting, hospital or registered community agencies, all nursing interventions related to client care should be documented following CLPNA standards and agency policy. Alberta Health Services offers online Naloxone training which is available to both AHS employees and non-AHS employees
Questions? Contact CLPNA’s Practice Consultants at email@example.com, 780-484-8886 or 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).