Island Health is warning of an increase in overdoses in Victoria and Campbell River as it issues drug poisoning advisories for both municipalities.
On Wednesday, the health authority said overdoses were on the rise, and people using opioids and stimulants face increased risk from injection and inhalation.
In the advisories, it says people who witness someone overdosing should call 911 and stay with them, give naloxone, and give one breath every five seconds.
For safer drug use, users can visit their local overdose prevention site. In Victoria, the OPS inhalation site at 926 Pandora Ave. and the injection site at 941 Pandora Ave. are open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the site at 535 Ellice St. is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the one at 713 Johnson St. is open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. In Campbell River, the site at #5-1330 Dogwood St. is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
People can get their drugs tested in Victoria at Substance UVic, which is located at 1802 Cook St. and open Monday-Saturday from 12-7 p.m. Campbell River’s test site is at the OPS site at #5-1330 Dogwood St.
Drug users should also:
- Carry naloxone.
- Use one substance at a time, as mixing can increase the risk of overdose. This includes alcohol and prescription drugs.
- If you are using alone:
- Let someone know and ask them to check on you.
- Use the Lifeguard app.
- Call the National OD Response Service at 1-888-688-6677.
- Know your tolerance.
- Start by taking a small amount to see how it feels before taking more.
- Stagger use with a friend so someone can respond if necessary.
— Island Health (@VanIslandHealth) April 12, 2023