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In this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, file photograph, a small bottle of the opiate overdose treatment drug naloxone is displayed in Atlantic City, N.J.Mel Evans/The Associated Press

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says it will spend $180,000 on a province-wide program to counter the effects of opioid overdoses.

Provincial Health Minister John Haggie says about 1,200 naloxone kits will be given to regional health authorities and the Safe Works Access Program.

He says the free, take-home naloxone kits will be available this fall and should increase access to the compound naloxone, used to reverse an overdose of dangerous opioids.

The kits will be distributed by the AIDS Committee of Newfoundland and Labrador and include naloxone, syringes, latex gloves, alcohol swabs, a breathing mask and an instruction pamphlet.

The province has been under pressure to make the kits available, following similar rollouts in B.C., Alberta and in Ontario.

Haggie says the initiative is part of an opioid action plan, which has already included a safe prescribing course, the development of a prescription monitoring program and the connection by pharmacies to the Pharmacy Network by 2017.