Drug poisoning advisory issued for Greater Victoria, West Shore: Island Health

Drug poisoning advisory issued for Greater Victoria, West Shore: Island Health
File photo of an overdose prevention service.

Island Health has issued a drug poisoning advisory for Greater Victoria and the West Shore after an increase in overdoses.

People using opioids and stimulants face an increased risk when consuming substances both by injection and inhalation.

If someone overdoses, you are advised to call 911 and stay with them, give Naloxone and give one breath for every five seconds.

People using drugs are advised to visit a local overdose prevention service, get drugs checked, use one substance at a time, carry naloxone, know your tolerance, start low and go slow, and stagger use with a friend.

Overdose prevention services in Victoria can be found at The Harbour at 926 and 941 Pandora Avenue (open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Rock Bay Landing at 535 Ellice Street (open daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and AVI at 713 Johnson Street (open daily from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

Drug checking is at 1802 Cook Street on Monday to Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m.

If you are using alone, Island Health advises you call someone to let them know and ask them to check on you, download Connect by Lifeguard, or call the National Overdose Response Service at 1-888-688-NORS (6677).

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In September 2023, there were 175 suspected unregulated drug deaths which is a 10 per cent decrease from September 2022 and two per cent decrease from August 2023.

This amounts of 5.8 people dying per day. In 2023, 80 per cent of the deaths have occurred inside, 48 per cent in a private residence, 32 per cent inside other residences, and 19 per cent have occurred outside.

In Island Health, 34 people died in September, up from 26 in August.

READ MORE: Expert panel lays out framework to roll out safer supply to prevent deaths in B.C.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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