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

This rendering shows the proposed warehouse for lands under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority near a Sidney residential neighbourhood. (York Reality/Submitted).
Chamber of Commerce promises Sidney warehouse proposal will deliver jobs

Nearby resident said project’s benefits will be short-lived

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

Work is progressing on the new student housing building at the University of Victoria. The building will be home to 398 students when complete in September 2022. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
VIDEO: Mass timber installation begins at UVic student housing project

Green technology plays key role in building that will be home to 398 University of Victoria students

The Sooke Animal Food and Rescue Society (SAFARS) helps make a difference to more than 50 feral cats in the region. (Contributed - SAFARS)
Feral cat rescue group looking for support

SAFARS helps make a difference to abandoned cats in the region

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Most Read