The average number of overdoses in Greater Victoria has doubled in the past week, prompting a public alert from Island Health. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria overdose numbers double

Island Health issues warning after spike in overdoses over a week

A spike in the number of overdoses in Greater Victoria has prompted an alert from Island Health, cautioning the public and drug users about a stronger supply of drugs on the Island.

According to Dr. Dee Hoyana, VIHA medical health officer, there are on average four overdoses a week that are accounted for in Greater Victoria. That number has doubled in the past week.

READ ALSO: Help is here: Overdose Prevention Guide shares what you need to know

“This is our usual process when we notice overdose rates going up and we just want to caution people to be safe and prevent these kinds of things from happening,” she said, adding the number of overdoses is not the same as deaths caused by overdoses.

The decision to put out a public announcement is based on the number of overdoses occurring at overdose prevention sites, supervised consumption sites, ambulance information and people presenting signs at the hospital — although those number’s aren’t exact because people also use drugs at home or don’t report their overdoses.

READ ALSO: Victoria crowd rallies for action on overdose crisis

Island Health tested some drugs and found potent substances in them such as carfentanil but Hoyana says they can’t be certain this is the exact drug causing the spike in overdoses. Island Health is recommending those using drugs to test their substances before using or to do a small amount of the drugs prior to using the full amounts to see the reaction. Hoyana also stresses the importance of not using alone.

“One of the highest risks of people dying from an overdose is if they’re alone and no one’s around to help them,” she said, adding people can go to supervised consumption sites to use.

For members of the public, Island Health is recommending carrying Naloxone to help in the case of coming across someone who has overdosed and to be aware of the signs of an overdose. For more information on what to do if someone is overdosing visit bit.ly/2DFHaJa.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

overdose

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read