Interior Health issued a toxic drug alert in Penticton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (File Photo)

Interior Health issued a toxic drug alert in Penticton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (File Photo)

Dangerous drug alert issued in Penticton

Interior Health is warning of a bright purple substance containing fentanyl and benzodiazepines

A dangerous substance circulating in Penticton has prompted Interior Health to issue a toxic drug alert.

A bright purple substance sold as heroin or “down” has tested positive for both fentanyl and benzodiazepines — a dangerous combo that can lead to severe respiratory and central nervous system depression and/or death.

READ MORE: Penticton overdose calls see drastic increase in 2020

Interior Health warns that there is a very high risk of overdose and prolonged sedation associated with the substance. Naloxone may not be effective in reversing overdose with this substance due to the presence of benzodiazepines.

The alert is in effect until Dec. 21, 2020.

If someone is experiencing an overdose or is witnessing an overdose, Interior Health says to call 911 immediately. If you are in crisis call 1-888-353-2273 for immediate assistance.

“We continue to see increasingly high levels of overdose activity and concerning drug checking results across the province. The drug supply is highly toxic and people who use drugs need to take precautions,” reads an Interior Health release.

Interior Health also provided the following safety tips for drug users:

  • Have a buddy or download the free Lifeguard app
  • Don’t mix substances including pharmaceuticals and alcohol
  • Use less and pace yourself
  • Carry naloxone and know how to use it
  • Access overdose prevention services and supervised consumption where assailable
  • Recognize the signs of an overdose: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to awaken, or non-responsive
  • If someone is experiencing an overdose or is witnessing an overdose, call 911

Across the province there have been 1,386 overdose deaths from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31, 2020 — with the vast majority being associated with fentanyl.

READ MORE: Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; B.C. drug toxicity continues to increase

XXXXXXXX

B.C. overdosesDrugs

Just Posted

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Black smoke can be seen rising from the mountain

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read