07 Jan 2021

OCSWSSW Seeking Your Feedback on Draft Appendix: Administration of Naloxone

The Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (the College) is seeking feedback from stakeholders on its draft appendix to the Practice Guidelines on Medication Practices regarding the administration of Naloxone. These guidelines were developed to assist members and employers in interpreting and applying the College’s Standards of Practice with respect to medication practices.

About the draft appendix

In response to the opioid crisis, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (now the Ministry of Health) expanded public access to Naloxone, the medication used to treat the effects of opioid overdose, by making it available without a prescription at pharmacies and Public Health Units. This medication can be administered through intra-nasal spray or intra-muscular injection.

College members do not have the authority to administer a substance by injection or inhalation, which is a controlled act under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). Only certain regulated health professionals (e.g. physicians, nurses, pharmacists) have been authorized through their health profession act to perform this controlled act.

At times, someone may be authorized to perform a controlled act if it has been appropriately delegated to them. The RHPA also provides exceptions under which a controlled act may be performed by a person who is not authorized, including if the controlled act is done in the course of giving first aid or temporary assistance in an emergency.

College members who work in mental health and substance use settings (supervised injection sites, or mental health outreach teams for example) may be expected to administer Naloxone as part of their practice. In these situations, the College expects a formal delegation to be in place.

The draft appendix focuses on these issues in greater depth and provides an overview of the following:

  • having a formal delegation in place to administer Naloxone;
  • administering Naloxone in emergency situations; and
  • underscoring the need to have appropriate skills and training when providing a service that is not a primary area of competence for College members.

Review the draft Appendix: Administration of Naloxone.

Provide your feedback

Your feedback regarding the draft appendix to the Practice Guidelines for Medication Practice would be very much appreciated. Please complete this survey, which will take less than 10 minutes to complete.  Space has been provided for general comments and suggestions for improvement.

Complete the survey.

The survey will close at 11:59PM (EST) on January 22, 2021. Thank you for taking the time to provide your input.

Please direct any questions about the draft appendix or stakeholder consultation process to Christina Van Sickle, Director of Professional Practice, at cvansickle@ocswssw.org.