Naloxone and Fentanyl

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication that reverses overdose caused by opioids and can save a person’s life. It does not work on overdose caused by other drugs. The purpose of a take-home naloxone program is to get naloxone into the hands of people who are most likely to be there during an opioid overdose as minutes and seconds count to save a life.

Why is it important?

There have been a significant number of overdoses and deaths related to legal and illicit fentanyl use across Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada.

Even if a person does not choose to specifically use the drug fentanyl, fentanyl is being cut in or laced into other drugs such as cocaine, oxycodone, heroin and other club drugs such as MDMA without the user knowing. This is especially dangerous for first time or occasional users.

How does the Take-Home Naloxone Program at the University of Manitoba work?

Any University of Manitoba student can receive a naloxone kit for free if they:

  • use illicit opioid drugs, or;
  • use any illegal drug with potential opioid adulterants (e.g., cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, illegally manufactured tablets or blotter drugs), or;
  • take prescribed opioids greater than 20mg morphine equivalent / day, or;
  • have the intention to or are likely to use illicit opioids in the near future.

To receive a kit, students can make a CONFIDENTIAL appointment with the Health & Wellness Educator and Nurse, Katie Kutryk, during business hours, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Appointments can be booked directly with Katie by calling 204-295-9032 or sending an email to katie.kutryk@umanitoba.ca

At the appointment, Katie will take a brief health history, train the person to recognize and respond to overdose, and provide the person with a take-home naloxone kit. The whole visit should take less than 1 hour.

Can I bring someone with me to the appointment? 

Yes. In fact, it is best if the person comes in with another person who is close to them (partner, roommate, family member) who is likely to be present if they overdose. These other people will also be offered training on how to respond to opioid overdose but will not be given a kit.

 If I am worried about a roommate, classmate or family member who uses drugs, how can I get my own kit?

Naloxone kits are available for purchase by anyone, without a prescription, at several locations around Winnipeg and Manitoba. To read more about how to access a naloxone kit in the community click here (PDF).

Note: Individuals who have health coverage under First Nations Inuit Health are eligible for free naloxone kits from locations that are selling them. Consult the pharmacy for more information.

Will the University, my family, or my professors be notified that I am a drug user?

Our primary goal is to help keep everybody safe and healthy. All contacts with the naloxone program on campus are confidential, nonjudgmental, and respectful. Nobody will know why you are meeting with Katie, as she works with students for a wide range of health related purposes.

If I use drugs, can I get a free naloxone kit anywhere else?

If you are not comfortable accessing your kit through the University of Manitoba, there is an interactive map  on the Street Connections website that shows places where take-home-naloxone kits can be accessed for free by people who meet the necessary criteria.

If a person is overdosing on opioid drugs, can I save their life without using naloxone?

Yes, in most cases the person needs oxygen, so call 911 and start rescue breathing if the person is not breathing effectively.

I would like to learn more about fentanyl and preventing or responding to overdose:

On campus information:

Other information: