Nasal Naloxone Pilot Project

Naloxone is life-saving medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose. It removes an opiate from the receptors in the brain and attaches itself there instead. When this happens, normal breathing rhythm resumes so that the body can get oxygenated blood. It will have no impact on someone who has not used an opiate.

In June 2021, the Alberta Government provided $1.5 million for a pilot project to provide Albertans in the Edmonton area with publicly funded nasal naloxone kits. The project is being led by the George Spady Society, in collaboration with Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Police Services and other community partners. On June 15, 2022 the George Spady Society began distributing nasal naloxone kits to individuals at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose. Additional nasal naloxone distribution sites have been added throughout the pilot in collaboration with Edmonton community partners.

Nasal naloxone is easier to administer and there’s no risk of needle stick injury or needle debris. One bottle of nasal naloxone spray is approximately the same as five naloxone vials, making it more effective. It also allows professionals who are not legally permitted to do injections to administer this important life saving drug. The nasal naloxone pilot project will gathers data related to user preferences and value-added benefits of nasal versus injectable naloxone.

The nasal naloxone pilot project complements the existing provincial naloxone program, which provides injectable naloxone across Alberta to individuals at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose. Naloxone is not a substitute for emergency medical support. Always call 911 when administering naloxone, whether nasally or via injection.

Both the nasal naloxone and medical detox projects are part of the Alberta government’s action plan to build a recovery-oriented systems of care that provides easy access to a range of addiction and mental health services from services to reduce harm to treatment services and recovery supports.