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October 27, 2017 8:09 pm

Spike in Overdoses Raises Alarm

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

Prince George, B.C.-In just three days, there have been a dozen serious  drug overdoses in Prince George and it  has  Northern Health and the RCMP  sounding the  alarm.

“We are disturbed to see this spike in overdoses in recent days,” said Northern Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Andrew Gray. “Also concerning is that these cases have required higher-than-normal amounts of naloxone to reverse the overdose effects. This may mean an unusually toxic or unpredictable batch of drugs is currently in circulation.”

Testing is underway to  determine the  type of substance involved in these cases.

Fortunately, none of the recent overdose patients has resulted in  loss of life,   but most  of the  patients  required prolonged stays in the emergency department and high doses of naloxone in order to recover safely.

“There is no safe way to use street drugs, and the potential for unknown and possibly lethal ingredients always exists,” says Cpl. Craig Douglass of the Prince George RCMP. “Officers will be warning known drug users in our community and we encourage the public to call 9-1-1 if you suspect someone has overdosed, even if Naloxone has already been administered.”

Public Health officials’ advice to reduce the risk of overdose and death from overdose:

  • Don’t use alone; have a naloxone kit handy and ensure the people with you know how to use it
  • Start with a small amount
  • Mixing substances, including alcohol, increases risk of overdose
  • Use where help is easily available (e.g. around other people)
  • Use less. If you took a break, were in detox/treatment or jail, or are new to use, your tolerance is lower
  • If you have ever experienced an overdose be aware that you are more likely to overdose again
  • Make a plan/know how to respond in case of an overdose

NH is currently distributing and providing training on the use of take-home Naloxone kits for vulnerable populations and their close contacts. More information on where to find a Naloxone kit is available at www.towardtheheart.com



not one mention by public health to stop using or seek help to stop using drugs. only mention safe ways to continue on with their habit.
just saying.

    Are you really this dense? What rock do you live under that makes you blind to all the information out there to keep users from using? Or do you think that users have a switch that you toggle on and off to say “shoot-up/don’t shoot-up”

I agree…
Last week the story was don’t come to emergency if it is not an emergency. This week its a spike in overdoses requiring prolonged stays in the emergency department. There were a lot of comments relating to “the vulnerable populations” repeatedly showing up to emergency.
Perhaps we need some kind of emergency clinic/Naloxone training center in the Tree streets neighbourhood.

    In the meantime someone who really needs emergency care has to wait for the doctors to treat the druggie for the umpteenth time.

How about upholding the laws of the land and deal with the criminal pushers and dealers and the users too. There is no incentive to stop doing drugs if we “fix” their problems by giving safe places to, in essence, break the law. There is no incentive to stop pushers and dealers when the system simply slaps their wrists and sends them back onto the street to do it all over again. We lost the war on drugs. Governments pull money from education and other services and end up doubling down on police and incarceration costs.

    Very true. They are focused on the supply side of the problem but the real problem is the demand side. Every time you cut off the head of the snake – so to speak, it grows another head. If you take away all the food the snake eats, the snake dies.

    I’ve been watching the Netflix drama The Crown, and I’m amazed at how protective the staff are of the Royal Family, and how they fight them at every turn if they want to do something ill advised, and it occurred to me, that the Royal Family is their job, and if the Royal Family is gone, so is the job.

    The illicit drug industry employs at lot of well connected legal and law enforcement professionals. If the drug industry dies, they lose their job.

    That’s why you’ll never see the focus on addicts and treatment. No lawyer,cop, or judge wants this problem solved. And they certainly don’t want to have to retrain to become a health care worker.

Awesome!! A how to do instructions to shoot up but not overdose! This is really going to solve the problem!

    I would think that the health authorities are practicing harm reduction with the recommendations.

    It is true that the ‘justice’ system does not adequately punish many criminals.

    The truth that many are beginning to realize is that so far our methods of dealing with the drug problem have failed.

    Put one dealer away, one or more pop up to fill the void.
    Take away their product and/or money, no problem, they will make more.

    It is becoming apparent to me that a wholesale societal change will be necessary for our current level of illicit drug misery to begin to lower.

    Why do people resort to drugs, any drugs?
    Why do so many of us feel the need to disconnect from everyday life?

    Solve those two issues and you address much of the problem.


      Well said, Metalman

I guess the safest place to do these drugs would be right outside the ambulance place or in the parking lot of the ER. That would save on travel time and $$$

The only thing alarming is the amount of people still doing drugs.

Well a dead customer stop buying from you. If you put in arsenic laced big macs and people eating them were dropping like flies, you would think that the company would change the recipe as a dead customer stops buying from you. That’s the confusing part regarding these overdoses. Are these dealers and suppliers so absolutely clueless that they are willingly killing off their money supply? If that’s the case, the options are to:
A) Leave it status quo and when all the “customers” are dead, problem solved.
B) Start dealing with these dealers and the supply chain behind them before they end up killing everyone. If you sell bad drugs and customers are dying, charge them with second degree murder. They can hire a lawyer that can fight the charge but at the end of the day, there are dead humans and someone bears a huge responsibility as the cause of death.

    Therein lies the fallacy. If a user dies from an overdose he is gone but it triggers a response in other users that the dealer has some good s*** and they have to score some. There was a program on CBC radio interviewing an ex addict and that is the mentality. The closer the drug brings one to an overdose the more it is sought in some circles, they are quite willing to overlook the accidental overdose with the rationale that “it will never happen to me, I am careful”.

Most all these overdoses come from the pain killer variety drugs. These are the people that move to OxyContin either because they built up an imunity to cocaine, or because it’s more available than heroin.

Once on the pain killer route it really messes up the mind and any attempt to stop sees them suffering great pain as their bodies can no longer cope with out the numbing of more pain killer… Then it’s a spiral of dependency and isolation… And along comes something stronger and it helps for a while until the immunity increase thus again… And so on and so goes the downward spiral until they get to close to the edge or get a wrong dose and become a statistic.

I have seen kids Imwent to high school with go down that road. Good people with bright futures ahead of them totally destroyed by the pain killer route. Some started out by a recovery from a traumatic event, others just the escalation of recreational drugs. All are now dead if not literally, than in the lifestyle they now live. I had one guy that was a close childhood friend I visited in Calgary a while back; and in just a few years he completely changed from OxyContin to the point I didn’t even recognize him anymore and his mind was so shot he couldn’t even remember life in PG where he lived for thirty years.

IMO it’s the pharmaceutical drugs that are the gateway drugs and the ones doing the most harm today. These drugs are drawing people in and cutting them down and the government does very little about it because they see the problem as the guy with the crack shack and not the transnationals with 25 year patens.

DTR. I’m not dense nor do I live under a rock. I am very aware of the education out there in regards to drug use and I am very aware of the life of an addict. I feel by helping the addict to use more safely then that really isn’t helping. Oh and by the way I wasn’t just born last night. Was told many years ago “if you aren’t part of the solution then you must be part of the problem” and helping them getting high isn’t helping them.
just my opinion.

If anyone thinks that increased enforcement, and arresting USERS is ever going to end the drug problem then you have slept right through this useless war on drugs.
It is time that we all realized that an addict is an addict is an addict and he/she will go to the ends of the earth and will not give a lot of thought to the possibility of overdose when they are jonesing for their next fix.
The solution I think is for government to end this useless war on drugs and actually control the supply side just like alcohol. That way the profit motive is taken out for organized crime and the cartels, and the supply, and quality of the product can be regulated. It also will give government the ability to slowly wean people off the drugs and perhaps at some point in time end this scourge that has ruined countless lives! Step number one is to decriminalize usage, and double down on cutting the head of the snakes that are selling!

‘Testing is underway to determine the type of substance involved in these cases.
I smell bs. here. The patients would have told them what they took to cause the overdose.
If it was illegal drugs, the police could have prevented a few of the od’s by ascertaining where the drugs were obtained and shutting down the dealer. Protecting the dealers is aiding and abetting another death from their junk drugs.
The dealers should be absolutely scared to death of having the RCMP busting in.

    And if you think the users are going to tell who they bought from, well, there’s not much hope for you.

The Government claims we have 622 Addicts less this Year and counting! We may have replaced them with new Addicts by now ?

I wonder if we ever get a Grip on the Drug Culture or is it a Hopeless Battle, just costing us more Money every Year and opening Injection Sites near you will decrease Addiction ??

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 2:26 PM by UnofficialTDR with a score of 0
Are you really this dense? What rock do you live under that makes you blind to all the information out there to keep users from using? Or do you think that users have a switch that you toggle on and off to say “shoot-up/don’t shoot-up”

Dense is you and the thousand of addicts that continue to ignor the public health warning of the death sentence if you use Fentanyl. You should climb out from your rock.

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