As B.C. reflects on five years passing since the overdose crisis was declared a public health emergency, overdose advisories have now been issued for two Vancouver Island cities.
In Campbell River, Island Health is reporting a jump in overdoses from opioids and stimulants, with an “increased risk with both injection and inhalation.”
The same advisory has also been issued for Victoria.
If you’re witness to someone overdosing, Island Health is urging you to call 9-1-1 right away. You should also provide “rescue breathing” and give Naloxone.
And with the advisories, comes strategies for safe use: If you use drugs, the health authority says you should visit your local Overdose Prevention Service (OPS).
Campbell River’s OPS is located at Unit #5 – 1330 Dogwood Street; It’s open daily from 9:00 am till 7:00 pm.
Drug users should also have an overdose prevention plan in place, and carry Naloxone. They’re encouraged to have their drugs tested at their local OPS.
Island Health also urges drug users to “do a tester” before a regular hit and to fix with a friend. If using with a friend, make sure it’s staggered so someone can reach out if the other needs help.
To get in touch with the National Overdose Response Service, call 1 (888) 688-6677.