Naloxone can be used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose. File photo

IH warns Penticton groups of ‘fentanyl syringes’

Interior Health notice

The Interior Health Authority is warning Penticton residents at risk of overdose after anecdotal reports of “pre-loaded fentanyl syringes.”

A notice, with a Monday timestamp and the header “IMPORTANT COMMUNITY WARNING” at the head, appeared on Facebook this week, and in large, text brings attention to “Pre-Loaded Syringes of Toxic Substance.”

“There have been a few reports of overdose events and fatalities associated with the use of a (sic) pre-loaded syringes or needles, purchased as heroin or fentanyl,” the notice reads.

Related: Ongoing overdose crisis needs a different approach, says health authority

The Interior Health notice, as posted online.

The notice has an Interior Health logo on it and a Feb. 28 expiry date, directing people to the Martin Street Outreach Clinic, Pathways, the South Okanagan Women In Need Society, the Penticton and District Community Resource Society and the Penticton Health Centre for naloxone training and kits.

It also provides seven pointers for safety, including not using alone — “tell a sober buddy who can call for help” — and testing a small amount initially.

“If you normally use drugs like crystal meth or cocaine and don’t have tolerance for down, please use extreme caution if you switch to down (like heroin or fentanyl),” another tip reads.

Related: Editorial: No easy answers for drug crisis

It also advises people to keep naloxone kits at hand, use naloxone and rescue breaths if someone has signs of an overdose, like decreased breathing, and call 911 if something doesn’t feel right.

In a statement to the Western News, Interior Health medical health officer Sue Pollock confirmed it put out a health notice to community organizations to warn people of “a potential increased overdose risk.”

“Interior Health issued an overdose warning in Penticton earlier this week, due to anecdotal reports of overdoses in the community, relating to the use of pre-loaded fentanyl syringes,” Pollock said.

“Interior Health is encouraging people who are considering using drugs experimentally or for recreational purposes to avoid the use of illegal drugs at this time.”

Related: South Okanagan front line workers say comments add insult to tragedy

Pollock also reiterated some of the tips listed above.

Pollock said the health authority couldn’t disclose the number of overdose deaths related to this incident, due to privacy concerns.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Storm knocks out power

Storm rolls through Okanagan causing damage

Vernon Search and Rescue’s helicopter winch team aids woman in medical distress

Woman airlifted from mountainous terrain near Coldstream Sunday

Penticton Fire Department called out for early morning fire at the Cannery Trade Centre

Fire at the heritage building was contained by firefighters

Penticton Elvis Festival wraps up 17th year

Steve Sogura tops pro category for 2018

Penticton Beach Cruise brings record number of vehicles

Annual car show maxes out at 850 vehicles

Powwow – “teaching others how to be teachable”

The annual Indigenous Day powwow at the Shatford Centre

Kamloops Fire Centre reports 3 new fires in area, all lightning-sparked

Includes a 0.3-ha. fire east of Penticton, 0.01-ha. fire by Merritt and a 1.77-ha. fire near Lytton

Reel Reviews: Playing Tag with the Incredibles

The conclusion: “Both these movies are exactly what you’d expect.”

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Mabel Lake Road roll over claims life

Armstrong man died in hospital after single vehicle roll over June 18

Thunder, strong winds possible for Okanagan

Environment Canada released the special weather statement Sunday afternoon

UPDATE: Missing dog from high velocity Kelowna car crash found

Jewels is recovering in the comfort of her home

Most Read