Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider or take steps to prevent overdose in the wake of a recent increase in suspected drug overdoses in the Penticton area.

There have been recent reports of opioid overdoses in the Penticton community after using what was believed to be a stimulant/upper (ex. amphetamines, methamphetamines etc.).

Related: Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Anyone using illegal drugs is advised to take steps to reduce the risk:

For your safety:

· Get your drugs checked for the presence of fentanyl available at the SOWINS (South Okanagan Women in Need Society) mobile outreach van. Call or text (250)809-7054. For more information visit: www.drugchecking.ca

· Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.

· Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together.

· Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.

· Test by using a small amount, then go slow.

· Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it.

· Use at an overdose prevention or supervised consumption site if one is near you.

Related: Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Know the signs of overdose and how to respond

· Recognize the signs of an OD: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non-responsive.

· Call 9-1-1 immediately

· Open airway and give rescue breaths

· Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it.

In Penticton, naloxone kits and training are available at:

· Martin St. Outreach-Primary Care Clinic – 117 – 437 Martin Street, Penticton

· Pathways Addictions Resource Centre – 1 – 996 Main Street, Penticton

· Penticton Health Centre – 160 – 740 Carmi Avenue, Penticton

· Snxastwilxtn Centre – 198 Outma Sqilxw Place, Penticton

· www.towardtheheart.com

For more resources and links related to overdose and substance use, visit: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/Leadership/MHO/Pages/PHEmergency.aspx

Related: Princeton suffers highest per capita rate of drug deaths: Coroner report

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