In the first 4 months of 2022, 10 Campbell Riverites died from toxic drug poisoning.
The Campbell River Community Action Team (CAT) is hosting an International Overdose Day (IOAD) event in Spirit Square to remember and honour those lost in the ongoing drug poisoning crisis. The event will take place on Aug. 31 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and will feature education stations, pop-up naloxone training, community-based art and memorial projects as well as resource tables.
At the event, the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society (VIMHS) will be introducing their new drug checking service, which is a service offered in partnership with the University of Victoria.
“We are proud to offer drug checking at the Overdose Prevention Site using a spectrometer to determine active ingredients in a sample provided – including fentanyl,” said VIMHS Executive Director Taryn O’Flanagan. “With our community partners, this is another step in addressing the drug poising crisis and reducing fatalities in our community.”
In B.C., over half of toxic drug deaths occur in private residences. Most of those who succumb to this crisis are working-aged men, which means the crisis also affects families, friends and co-workers.
In the case of overdose, Island Health says to call 911 and stay with the person, give naloxone and give one breath every five seconds.
Tips for safer drug use are to visit the local overdose prevention service, which in Campbell River is located at 1330 Dogwood Street, Unit 5. The OPS is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. In Courtenay the site is at 941C England Ave. open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The Community Action Team has a list of resources for people who are either using drugs or know someone who is. The list is available on their website.