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October 27, 2017 7:51 pm

Northern Health Extends Hours of Needle Exchange

Friday, December 9, 2016 @ 3:03 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Northern Health  is  extending the hours of the Needle  exchange in Prince George in an effort to  reduce the number of  overdoses in the City.

There have been  24 overdose cases in the City  in the  past three weekends, fortunately no one died.  While the number of cases has shown a decline, dropping from  a high  of 12 to 4,   the number is still   much higher than the usual  1 to 2 cases  Northern Health  typically sees in the course of a week.

The Needle Exchange will be  open seven days a week  to provide a  place where people can be safe,  and  can be treated immediately should they  overdose .  “Overdose levels remain high in our region, and immediate action can save lives,” says Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison. “We’re expanding the hours we’ll be open with staff present to support people who are looking for a safe place to keep warm, and also for staff to be able to respond quickly if an overdose occurs.”

The safety message  remains the same  to those who  use illicit drugs:
• 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

All emergency response personnel in Prince George have been trained on the use of  Naloxone  which can  save lives of those  overdosing.  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



Why don’t you guys put in the effort to get help in Emergency, so the common law abiding, tax paying folks can get the help they need first? Its like a MASH unit there right now, people on stretchers in the halls, because the beds in emerg are taken up by dope fiends and burnouts who are detoxing.

Not only are they detoxing, but they ignore dr’s orders and leave for smokes, and totally corrupt the entire system because they are selfish , thoughtless animals that do not understand how a medical system works.

    Careful, when you start calling other human beings as “animals”

    I think the above post should be removed on the grounds that is a discriminatory publication under BC Human Rights Code.

    It’s intent is to dehumanize a class of people–name those with addictions. Those addictions are mental and physical disabilities under the Code.

      My mother-in-law was in emerg last week and was spit on in the hallway by a scumbag detoxing, while she was withering in pain on a stretcher. I’m sorry, what word should I use for this poor individual who was doing ‘her’ weekly visit to emerg, and assaulting the eldery with her wonderful saliva?

      Libs. lol

      isthisreallife makes the assumption that some “scumbag detoxing” spit on his mother-in-law at hospital emergency, and that the “poor individual was doing ‘her’ weekly visit to emerg, and assaulting the elderly (sic) with her wonderful saliva.”

      You must have quite the extensive medical background being able to immediately diagnose someone as being a detoxing sumbag rather that an individual who has mental health issues, awaiting admission to the hospital’s third floor under the Mental Health Act. Some persons with mental illness can act out violently, or in this case inappropriately, in public.

      Cons; sometimes self-righteous, arrogant, fools, passing judgement without any facts!

      Have you not seen the violence and anger that comes out of a person detoxing? Have you never spoken to RN’s that have been assaulted and spit on etc; ad nauseum by a person coming off drugs?
      You haven’t lived til you experience it.

    Agreed, when I got to the “selfish, thoughtless animals” part of the comment, I could only apply it to the person who would post such a comment.

      To this I would ask two questions.

      1. Have you ever called someone sub-human in a post on this site?

      2. How long do you think it would take for me to find it?

      Make that tree questions

      3. Is it cold living in a glass house in this weather and constantly chucking stones?


Its kind of like ok, if your going to drink poison? then we will have professional people there while your doing it. This is basically telling the drug user he or she has permission to do so.I don’t like my tax dollars supporting this. Maybe the Code needs to be rewritten.

My Motherwas in emergency all last weekend and I hate to say it Leroy..but you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to who was in emergency….

    I totally agree with you… That Emerg needs a good shaking up.. WHAT they have triage for when people go there and sit for five hours waiting while they have a miscarriage. Then to top it off, the Emerg Supervisor refers to you as “”hon””

Okay….If I happened to have a workplace injury, I’m rushed to the hospital, but I can’t get a bed because there is a backlog of people that have injected some bad shit. At that instance, I hope I have the strength, to drag some people out of their beds.

Life is precious. Period. Yes it costs money. The people who are addicts and who are at risk may have chosen at the beginning to try these drugs, but no one….NO ONE choses to become an addict. Is it a public burden? Yes. Is it a harm reduction strategy? Yes. Where there is life there is hope. Get off your high horse if you think they are less than human. Also, if you have a workplace injury don’t sweat it….you will be fast tracked through private channels. Whether or not you agree life is more important than anything else. No one is disposable. I’m a retired paramedic. Always thought that if I lost my ‘give a damn’ I’d quit and do something else (my knees quit before my give a damn did) What’s up with the arm chair quarterbacks who have opinions but no street or medical experience? Good thing you’re not front line health care providers.

    Thank you life is precious. You tell it like it is.
    People who do not know any better make these stupid comments. Either that, or they are young and lack experience.

    I am in a position to understand, I have lost a child to overdose, and I am a first responder, therefore see firsthand the misery that drugs and alcohol wreak on our society. Prior to first hand experience, I too was a ‘judge’ of others. Oh yeah, it is so ‘effin easy to talk.

    No one chooses to become an addict, no one set out to become “scum” in someone else’s viewpoint, few choose to die because of their choices.

    Some people need to look a bit above the level of their own navels, and try a little empathy for those around them.

      Agreed Metalman, and I’m very sorry you lost a loved one to overdose. Seems to me that more folk should be at least sympathetic to the massive drug problems rather than, not having been touched personally by it, goes on and on with uninformed opinions. Life is precious, yours, mine, and every single person despite their life path and choices. Never give in, never back up when it comes to addictions. Peace to you x

      Can we stop with the ‘all life is precious’ crap? Was Dahmer’s life precious? How about Hitler? What about the drunk who wiped out a family of 5? Is he precious as well?

      I can’t believe you are a first responder , you are way too much of an emotional disaster to be in that position. It worries me if you are in this field of work. I love how you flip flop on so many social issues, and yet you are a huge Trudeau supporter. Your line of work should be really fun when the Cartel floods Canada with Fentanyl because JT has the same compassion as you towards drug users and suppliers.

      A what point do we stop caring about drug abusers, more than sick innocent children? Spend the money on low-income high risk kids, than 40yr old burnouts who visit emerg on a weekly basis. And if you are indeed a ‘first responder’ you do know how frequent the same people are in Emerg, and the resources they use up.

      Get these people away from society in a treatment center, anywhere but Emergency.

      Wow! From serial killers, to drunk drivers, to first responders, to politics, to Fentanyl, to drug abuse… and then you ironically state; “I love how you flip flop on so many social issues”. isthisreallife, your comment is a mess. Suggest you self-medicate, and have a Merry Christmas!

    Life is full of choices. Should I suffer from some persons bad choices ? I’m a central political being, but should I, that pays taxes every day, be second to someone that chooses to shoot shit into their body everyday ? Get serious…..

Grizzly2. …yes it’s true that violent, aggressive, and angry patients can be those in detox. However, until proven, many other folk can present clinically like this. Patients with mental health issues (compliant with meds or not), people with traumatic brain injury, those with is chemical brain issues, diabetics in hypo/hyperglycemia, folk with PTSD, those who are intoxicated (acute but not chronic), those who are high (acute but not chronic), those with hypoxic injury (not getting enough oxygen to brain: asthma, pneumonia, flu, COPD etc etc) and more. Keep an open mind if you are a non medical non Healthcare provider.

This is a problem that has been around for some time, and we need to find a solution. My suggestion is that we have a ward set up for people coming off of drugs, where they can receive the proper treatment etc;

In addition we need to ensure that our emergency ward works as a top level unit for all those who go to emergency with various problems. By grouping all these people together, once again the Government and Health Board is trying to save money, while causing undue stress on a large number of people.

The treatment of drug addicts, should somehow be attached to the needle exchange program, and it should also ensure that those addicts that need immediate attention get it. This would mean more money however when we think of the number of people overdosing we should not be too concerned about the cost,. This might very well mean setting up an emergency centre in downtown Prince George, and while we are at it we could set up a comprehensive shelter program for the homeless.

We can solve this problem, however it would take some initiative from our elected officials, ie: Municipal, Provincial, and Federal. Rather than constantly trying to download costs on each other, perhaps its time for some real solutions to some real problems.

We need only look at the Airport Runway expenditure of some $33 Million, and the Community Energy System expenditure of some $14 Million to see where we have highly expensive failed projects with tax dollars.

It seems when it comes to spending money on the construction of various public buildings etc;, we seem to be able to get if off the ground and built with little problem. Our $40 Million police station is a good example. However we seem to be unable to take the necessary action to stop people from sleeping in the streets and alleys, even though we all know that this causes a major health problem.

We can do better.

Heartily agree Palopu

The homeless drug addicts are indeed frequent flyers to the emergency ward. Its typical for any city that does not have the facilities to look after them. It is unfortunate that others in emergency requiring treatment for acute conditions have to mingle with those that are EDP, or detoxing from an overdose. But that doesn’t mean they (the homeless) can act like assholes. I’m afraid if one such person did spit on a member of my family then they would be in the perfect place to receive extra medical treatment after I got through with them.

Unfortunately there is no magical cure to get the users off of drugs… just like there is no magical cure to stop people from getting sick or injured.

So the only rational fix to our medical system is to quit underfunding/understaffing our hospitals. As far as “safe injection sites”, those should be funded by the confiscated “proceeds of crime” and other fees like the “victims surcharge”.

I do feel compassion for users, but agree that my tax dollars should be spent on prevention and enforcement rather than being spent on the repeat users that keep clogging up emergency wards week after week. The ER nurses see these same users so often that they know them by first name. Something needs to change!

    I agree! When diabetics have to pay for their testing strips and when the parents of children with severe allergies have to pay through the nose for Epi-pens, something needs to change!

Well, if we don’t have enough problems with drugs in Canada already, it appears that things are likely to get worse! You can thank Justin and his Liberal Government!

“Mexican cartels to expand reach in Canada with visa changes” – Vancouver Sun, December 08, 2016

“Violent drug cartels are expected to expand their reach in Canada now that a visa requirement for Mexicans has been lifted, according to government documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The Canada Border Services Agency report says “the visa lift will make travel to Canada easier in order to establish or strengthen existing cartel smuggling chains.”

“In the next three years, Mexican drug cartels are expected to expand their presence in Canada by sending operatives and recruiting local airport or marine port workers with ties to Mexico,” says the document, obtained from a source.”

“And the CBSA document expresses concern about the possibility of the cartels starting to smuggle fentanyl into Canada.”

ht tp://vancouversun.com/news/national/mexican-cartels-to-expand-reach-in-canada-with-visa-changes

Thanks for nothing Justin!

There is an answer to drug users…Drag them outside and leave them if they die, so much the better. If they live let them go try again ….No help for these worthless pieces of shit.

So tired of people telling me I have to pay for these drug addicts. That I have to allow my downtown to be destroyed by these drug addicts. Northern Health is to blame. They are only serving the needs of this small group. they have thumbed their nose at everyone else, the overwhelming majority of Prince Georgians who deserve a clean, safe downtown.

Donald Mackenzie,,,,,,,,,I totally agree,you just stated what probably ninty eight percent of the population and taxpayer are thinking

Donald Mackenzie sounds just like a KKK member talking about black folks in the deep south of the USA, he and onefingertyper must be big Donald Trump supporters. My name is David Duke, and I approve this message.

Well… how else do you respond to comments that propagate mass extinction and genocide? Their comments come from some truly SICK thinking!

    “Posted by BeingHuman with a score of 000

    “When people start hurling insults, you know their minds are closed and there’s no point in debating. And so you disengage yourself as quickly as possible from the situation.” ~ Judith Martin”

Yes, my mind is closed to dragging people outside and leaving them them to die! At least I am taking a principled and ethical stand, and just where do you stand on this issue sparrow?

    Just this once I will ignore the advice to quickly disengage with someone hurling insults as their minds are closed and there is no point in debating.

    How do I feel about those who overdose on fentanyl and carfentanyl? In a lot of ways indifferent actually.

    It is not like they don’t know the risks as I am sure that every outreach worker, social worker, drop in center employee, etc talk to them till they are blue in the face as they outline the precautions that should be taken when using. Clearly outlined in the story above. I bet the needle exchange is covered in posters outlining the risks.

    So if a person is using alone in an alley, an SRO on the DES or in a shed behind a house they should knowing full well the risks that they are taking. No different really than a person free climbing up a sheer rock face in the mountains losing his grip and falling to his death-knew the risks and possible concequences and chose to proceed anyway.

    I do have sympathy for those left to deal with the aftermath be it the poor fella scraping the guy off the rocks or for example the three kids in Calgary who recently found their parents dead from a OD when they got up in the morning.

    It sounds in the story that the needle exchange is operating as a safe injection site or at least turning a blind eye to those using so that they can be quickly treated in the event of an OD.

    had more to say be thread is about to close

We are equals in society, even if somebody does not meet your standards

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