Drug Poisoning deaths are on the rise. Nurses need skills and training to cope.

Street nurse attends to a patient

covid-19, outreach campaign, overdose crisis

April 14, 2021

Bevel Up offers over 5 hours of truly engaging content. At its heart the acclaimed 45-minute documentary, along with a menu of digestible content morsels, already indexed for easy use and available free online from the NFB. PLUS Nurse Educator Caroline Brunt and Cool.World are launching newly developed lunch box lesson plans.

In response to the overwhelming drug poisoning crisis, and with the support of the BC Nurses’ Union, National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition and Cool.World, we are launching a renewed outreach campaign for the film, Bevel Up. The campaign is timely and necessary, and we hope to engage with many community partners to share the updated curriculum materials and launch an anti-stigma campaign to push for policy change at all political levels.

Bevel Up was recently relaunched for free online by the NFB!

The 45 minute documentary and its additional 3.5 hours of playlists provide a compassionate lens to the nursing practice challenges and ethical and legal complexities which lie behind the lived experiences of people whose stories the film follows.

Never before have the lessons it conveys been more in demand. 

There is a lot of energy right now for drug policy reform. Vancouver voted to decriminalize drugs, with the support of the police department. Overdose rates are at an all time high with 16,534 opioid deaths in 3 months (January to March, 2020).

As COVID hits hard with its third wave, the opioid poisoning crisis in Canada has never been more dire, with 11 deaths and 13 hospitalizations every day between January 2016 and March 31, 2020. And the social distancing that protects people from COVID can be a killer for those who use drugs, causing more isolation and sadly, deaths. 

The skyrocketing overdose death statistics are causing potential policy shifts, with supplying safe drugs and decriminalization for the first time becoming a policy conversation. Vancouver city council has recently voted to decriminalize personal possession of drugs, and other organizations across the country are organizing for similar reforms.

  In particular, recent findings pertaining to substance use education in Canadian nursing programs finds that ”students did not feel knowledgeable or prepared to provide care to people who use illegal substances.” The study emphasizes that education needs to challenge popular views or myths that nursing students may hold as “education is key to ensure that people who use illegal substances have access to safe, competent, and ethical nursing care.”

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