BC Centre for Disease Control naloxone kit. (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)

Island Health warns of spike in drug overdoses

Health authority says drug poisonings on the rise the last three days

Island Health issued an alert after an increase in overdoses in Victoria over 72 hours.

The health authority took to Twitter May 4 around 4:30 p.m. to alert the public of drug poisonings over the three days previous.

Island Health suggests users have drugs checked at a safe consumption or other agencies such as the Vancouver Island Drug Checking Program. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program continues to offer free and confidential drug checking in Victoria. The team determines a sample’s main active ingredients, fillers or cutting agents, any unexpected drugs, and the presence of fentanyl.

READ ALSO: Overdoes Prevention Resource Guide

The organization currently offers free drop off and pick up service through SOLID Outreach at 1056 North Park St. Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Service users can drop off a small sample for testing and will be able to receive results within one to two business days. Visit substance.uvic.ca for details.

For drug users, Island Health recommends trying a little before a regular hit; to use with a friend or be close to help; stagger use with a friend; carry Naloxone; and have an overdoes response plan or visit a safe site.

Victoria safe consumption sites include The Harbour, 941 Pandora Ave. (and mobile); Rock Bay Landing, 535 Ellice St.; and AVI at Topaz Park.

If someone overdoses, call 911, provide rescue breathing and give Naloxone if available.

READ ALSO: More about Greater Victoria’s opioid crisis

READ ALSO: As B.C. grapples with pandemic, top doctor marks grim anniversary of overdose crisis


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