Interior Health issues illicit drug alert after spike of overdoses in B.C.

Five people died of overdoses in Abbotsford Friday night, six people overdosed in Victoria Thursday

Interior Health is urging extreme caution for Kamloops and Kelowna residents, following five overdoses in less than 10 hours in the Lower Mainland yesterday.

“While not using drugs at all is the best way to avoid overdose and other health impacts, health care providers recognize some people will continue to use drugs,” Interior Health said in a statement Saturday.

READ MORE: Abbotsford officials see spike in overdoses Halloween weekend

READ MORE: Health authority warns of overdose increase in Victoria

On Friday, Island Health also issued a warning after six people were rushed to hospital in a 24-hour period.

To reduce risk, drug users are being advised not to mix different drugs, not to take drugs alone and to take small test doses to gauge potency before taking their usual dose.

Drug users are also advised to keep an eye out for their friends, carry a naloxone kit and learn how to recognize the signs of an overdose: Slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips or fingertips turning blue and difficult to awaken.

If an overdose is suspected users are advised to call 911 immediately.

Fatal overdoses increasing at great rates in Kelowna

There were 60 OD deaths in Kelowna from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, meaning the projected death toll for 2017 is 90. In 2016 47 died. Fentanyl has been detected in 90 per cent of these cases.

The illicit drug overdose death rate is higher in the Kelowna Census Metropolitan Area —which includes everything from Lake Country to Peachland —than it is in Vancouver.

READ MORE: Interior Health provides bleak situation of opioid crisis in Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Osoyoos Desert Centre prepares for reopening

The 67-acre nature interpretive facility opens June 6

Small business grants available through Okanagan initiative

Susie and Bryan Gay launched ‘This Bag Helps’ to help fellow small business owners during the pandemic

Penticton Vees acquire forward Luc Wilson in trade with Cowichan Valley

Departing is 20-year-old Penticton native Jack Barnes

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

Curbside reads available as Okanagan libraries reopen

Okanagan Regional Library reopened June 2 in phased approach

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Suspicious activity on North Okanagan bike trails

A rock deliberately placed on a hazardous corner results in bolstered security, cameras

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read