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

Just Posted

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

Revelstoke Art Gallery hosts exhibition in honour of Pat Wells

Barbara Maye Special to the Review Stone Carving and Revelstoke have a… Continue reading

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Wildfires in Mt. Revelstoke National Park not currently a threat to people or assets

Since the lightning storm on Tuesday there have been three fires on… Continue reading

UPDATE: Revelstoke RCMP looking for information on missing person John Cunliffe

The Revelstoke Royal Canadian Mounted Police Detachment is continuing to ask for… Continue reading

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Mount Conkle fire grew but 90 per cent guarded

The wildfire has grown to an estimated 118 hectares from 93 hectares last night

Update:Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

The wildfire is still considered out of control

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

Progress being made on Okanagan wildfires

Danger not over, fires could flare up again

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Update: Okanagan Mountain Park fire holds at 400 hectares

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Most Read