Our Place Society communications director Grant McKenzie suggests hosts of a party should keep naloxone on hand. (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)

Our Place Society communications director Grant McKenzie suggests hosts of a party should keep naloxone on hand. (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)

Heading to a party tonight? Consider picking up naloxone

Drug safety tips ahead of New Year’s Eve

As many prepare to ring in the new year and new decade, community members are reminded to be careful, particularly when using drugs or around those using drugs.

Our Place Society communications director Grant McKenzie said the organization sees the dangers of drug use at the street level.

“Every time somebody uses, regardless of whether it’s heroin, crystal meth or cocaine, they really don’t know what’s in it,” McKenzie said. “You just really don’t know what you’re getting.”

With fentanyl, McKenzie said it could only take consuming a small amount to overdose or even die and he noted that dealers often don’t know how much fentanyl is in the drugs they sell.

“We’re not dealing with chemistry majors here,” McKenzie said.

READ ALSO: Victoria nurse asks for compassion after people shout at him for saving an overdose victim

He also noted that on New Year’s Eve, there may be many “weekend warriors” out at parties where they think the drugs they are consuming are safe.

If drugs are going to be at a party, McKenzie suggests the hosts go to a place like AIDS Vancouver Island, Our Place or Cool Aid Society to pick up a naloxone kit. That way, if somebody overdoses, it could be possible to save their life. Naloxone is available in B.C. without a prescription.

McKenzie noted most of the opioid deaths that are occurring are happening to those that are using alone. He said people using drugs should consider doing so with someone around who isn’t using at the same time and with a naloxone kit nearby that can be administered if necessary.

Island Health also suggests that if deciding to use drugs, they should be taken one at a time and not mixed with alcohol.

READ ALSO: Special Report: Mother fights to decriminalize illicit drugs

Signs of a fentanyl overdose include slow or no breathing, blue lips and fingertips, becoming unresponsive to noise, their name or pain; gurgling or snoring sounds, pinpoint pupils and clammy skin.

If someone is overdosing, Island Health recommends administering naloxone, ensuring their airway is clear and open and providing rescue breathing.

In 2018, 1,510 people died of drug overdoses in B.C., including 237 on Vancouver Island. Eighty-three per cent of the people who died from drug overdoses were men, 88 per cent of deaths occurred indoors and 76 per cent of those who died were aged 30 to 59.

In April, Black Press Media published an Overdose Prevention Guide which can be viewed online here.

Find more stories and a six-part special report about Greater Victoria’s opioid crisis here.

Overdose prevention and supervised consumption locations can be found here.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth in police custody after kitchen knife call

A knife was recovered during the arrest, no injuries reported

(Black Press Media file photo)
VicPD arrest man at gunpoint after firearm call

Man faces charges for breaching condition not to possess replica firearms

Sooke’s Amy McLaughlin holds Theodore, a bunny who will be going to a new owner in Nanaimo within the coming days if all goes will at an upcoming bunny play-date. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke woman looking to hop into bigger space for bunny business

Amy McLaughlin has rescued over 400 bunnies across the Island, mainland

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read