Interior Health issues overdose alert - InfoNews

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Interior Health issues overdose alert

FILE PHOTO - A man prepares heroin he bought on the street to be injected at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday May 11, 2011.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
March 29, 2019 - 10:17 AM

KELOWNA - Deadly doses of carfentanil have hit the Interior Health region hard this month so authorities are warning people not to use illicit drugs.

Of the 19 overdose deaths in March in B.C. where carfentanil was detected, seven – or 37 per cent - were in the Interior Health region.

“Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid normally used as a sedative for large animals,” states a news release from Interior Health. “It is similar to fentanyl, but can be 100 times more toxic. Ingesting one or two grains can be fatal to humans. Carfentanil is not detected by fentanyl strips.”

Recognizing that people are still likely to consume illicit drugs, Interior Health offered some suggestions to reduce the risks including not using alone and carrying a naloxone kit.

“Recognize the signs of an overdose: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to awaken, or non-responsive,” the press release states. “Use an overdose prevention site or supervised consumption site if available in your community (Kelowna, Kamloops, Nelson).”

For more resources on overdose and substance use, click here.


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