Victoria-based Gaëlle Nicolussi makes ‘I carry naloxone’ buttons to help raise awareness about the opioid crisis. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)

Reducing harm with ‘I carry naloxone’ buttons

Victoria-based designer makes buttons with social justice messages

With more than 1,100 overdose deaths across B.C. so far this year, one Victoria woman is taking small steps to help harm reduction efforts.

Gaëlle Nicolussi is the creator behind Radical Buttons, a Victoria-based Etsy shop that makes buttons with social justice messages. Her most popular include “End mental health stigma” and “Smash the patriarchy.”

After three years in business, Nicolussi launched a new button design on Nov. 15: “I carry naloxone.”

“I have a friend who is an outreach worker who gave me a sticker that said ‘naloxone’ on it because I carry a kit with me everywhere, so it’s nice to let people know I have that on me,” said Nicolussi. She decided to make a permanent version for everyday use.

Nicolussi has been carrying a kit for eight months, since taking the naloxone training with AID Vancouver Island through her work as a research associate for substance use at the University of Victoria. Then in August, she was trained again at Centennial Square during the International Overdose Awareness Day. She’s taken the training twice this year so that if she ever witnesses an overdose, she’s ready to help.

WATCH MORE: How to use naloxone to stop a fentanyl overdose

“I think buttons are a great way not only to raise awareness, but to start a conversation about the opioid crisis, how it is affecting our community and how we as individuals can do something to help,” Nicolussi said.

Her buttons do more than spread a message: they also identify someone in case of an emergency, when there isn’t much time to react. So far in 2018, an average of 127 people in B.C. have died from overdoses per month, with 74 total cases in Victoria.

So far, Radical Buttons has sold around 30 buttons.

At $3 each, part of the proceeds from the “I carry naloxone” buttons will go to AIDS Vancouver Island, where Nicolussi said she plans to donate dozens of buttons for their harm reduction workers.

Naloxone training can be found at towardtheheart.com.

READ MORE: B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

West Shore crashes causing delays for morning commuters

Three-vehicle crash on Highway 1 causing some delays along with a fender bender on Wale Road

Beat the rush: Give the gift of time to the community this holiday season

Volunteer Victoria offers tips for meaningful experiences

Sensitive Santa brings patient holiday cheer to Tillicum Centre

Those who need more time with Santa can book a session ahead starting Nov. 19

Sunny skies ahead for Wednesday

Plus a look ahead at your weekend

The Grinch decks the halls for Sidney’s holiday season

A flurry of holiday events to be had in Sidney this year

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

‘Our culture is not a religion,’ indigenous educator tells B.C. Supreme Court in case of smudging at school

Mother also gave evidence Tuesday in Nanaimo courtroom, case continues Wednesday

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Most Read