Alana, who does not want to use her real name, is a regular drug user and has experienced an overdose four times. Every single time she uses she knows it’s a gamble.

“It’s scary because I could be here one day and within seconds be not here,” said Alana.

Especially now, with an even stronger batch going around.

Just Wednesday evening, paramedics were responding to an overdose in Centennial square. But the reality of the overdose epidemic is that calls like that one are now a daily occurrence.

“There are no safe drugs on the streets at the moment,” said Grant McKenzie with Our Place Society.

Compared to the average number of overdoses in the last three months, this past week has seen a troubling trend.

“We are noticing more than double the amount of overdoses,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer with Vancouver Island Health.

In response Island health has issued an overdose advisory, warning the public and Alana knows the golden rule. She’s vowed never to use alone.

“If you use alone no-one would be able to run or get help nobody would know you’d be just by yourself and nobody would know where to look,” she said.

But besides that, Island health says there are other steps to take: have your substances checked, try a little before your regular hit to see how your body reacts and always carry Naloxone.

The powerful overdose-reversing drug found in little vials inside Naloxone kits.

“It’s very important it has already saved probably thousands of lives in B.C.,” said Dr. Hoyano.

“We want to get people into detox we want to get people into recovery community and if they are killed from these strong drugs we don’t have that opportunity,” said McKenzie.

He says a life saved today is one that could be transformed tomorrow.

Find more information on Naloxone kits and preventing overdoses here.

Luisa Alvarez