Overdose Cases Remain Under Investigation
Prince George, B.C. – The RCMP continue to investigate the source of opioid which sparked 5 overdoses in Prince George in a 24 hour period last week.
All five people recovered from their overdose experience and while fentanyl has not been confirmed as being the cause of the rash of overdoses, having so many in such a short period of time caused Northern Health to issue an advisory about the potential for the extremely strong synthetic narcotic to be in the community.
Fentanyl has been blamed as a factor in the overdose deaths of two people in Dawson Creek earlier this year as well as several overdose deaths in the lower mainland.
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day and Provincial Minister of Health, Terry Lake, says it is a timely opportunity , to let people know about the dangers of using illicit drugs and the services offered in B.C. to assist those with drug addictions reduce their risks.
Lake says there are more than 300 harm-reduction distribution sites throughout B.C. to ensure users have sterile syringes.
“People who may be at risk of an opioid overdose are also urged to seek out take-home naloxone training and kits, accessible at many harm-reduction sites. Since 2012, B.C. has provided overdose-response training and take-home naloxone kits at no cost.”
Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose of an opioid drug, such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl or oxycodone. To date,
the program has reversed more than 260 overdoses; nearly 3,000 kits have been distributed and more than 4,500 people trained, including people who use opioids, their friends and family, and service providers.
He also urges those who use illicit drugs to ensure they have someone with them who can spot the signs of an overdose and call 9-1-1 should that be warranted.
“Using illicit drugs will always present risks, but steps can be taken to prevent overdoses and other dangers” says Lake.