Over 30 local businesses and establishments in Halifax and Downtown Dartmouth recently trained their employees on how to administer naloxone.

Boutique Zekara is one of several businesses in the city’s North End that taught their staff how to administer the life-saving drug, in the event they encounter someone experiencing a drug overdose.

"We have been in the North End for about two years and we're excited to be here,” says Boutique Zekara owner, Yetty Hutchinson. “It's a real sense of community and this is one way we could give back to the community."

Hutchinson says it’s important that people know what to do when they witness an overdose and how to administer naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids.

"It can happen to anyone, anywhere,” says Hutchinson. “So I think all businesses should have some kind of training with that."

And it’s a sentiment other businesses in the area agree with as well.

"We operate a business in a community that kind of faces its own set of challenges,” says Propeller Brewing employee, K.T. Lamond. “So it's our responsibility to be trained and prepared to help if need be, you know. We could save someone's life – so it seems like a bit of a no brainer."

The training is a joint effort by a number of local groups, which includes Navigator Street Outreach.

"Anytime you can provide a service that actually helps save a life in a crisis situation… it's better to be proactive," says Navigator Street Outreach worker, Shawn Parker. “You got a matter of minutes, you know, seconds, if someone OD’d on any, drug, it’s your respiratory system that shuts down and then once that shuts down, the rest of your organs start to shut down."

Meanwhile, any businesses that didn’t get a chance to participate in the first round of training will have an opportunity soon, as an additional training session will become available in the near future.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Natasha Pace