As part of the national strategy on overdose prevention and response, the SPVM is contributing to the collective drive, supported by the Gouvernement du Québec. From October 19 to November 9, 2020, almost 3,300 police officers took an online training course run by the École nationale de police du Québec to learn how to administer naloxone with a nasal spray. This medication is used to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and consequently save lives.
Beginning November 10, 2020, the SPVM has distributed 174 naloxone kits to 30 neighbourhood police stations and 26 operational support units. From November 10 to December 31, 2020, SPVM police officers conducted 12 interventions which required naloxone to be administered to individuals who had taken opioid overdoses. They acted as first responders across Montréal in different types of places.
Lives have been saved in a context where the number of deadly opioid overdoses recorded by the SPVM more than doubled in 2020, amounting to 65 compared to 28 in 2019. This was a first for the SPVM: at the time, no medication had yet been added to police officers’ work tools.