More drug deaths in Fraser region, Surrey hospital averaging three overdoses a day

Fraser Health begins social media, poster campaign to educate drug users, warns all drugs may be contaminated

New graphic for use on social media released by Fraser Health.

More deaths have happened this month that Fraser Health officials believe are the result of drug overdoses, including one confirmed fentanyl overdose death at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The Surrey hospital has seen an average of three drug overdoses per day since a flurry of 43 overdoses on the weekend of July 15.

An undisclosed number of other deaths in private homes or other locations across the health region are suspected but not yet confirmed as illegal drug overdoses.

The health authority is embarking on a social media and poster campaign to persuade drug users to take more precautions.

“It is important to note that these individuals include not only people who use drugs regularly but also those who use drugs on a recreational basis,” said chief medical health officer Dr. Victoria Lee.

“In addition, people report taking a variety of drugs including but not limited to heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy and GHB. At this time, we are warning people that all drugs may be contaminated with lethal substances.”

She said up to 70 per cent of overdose deaths in th region are related to fentanyl, but “we are seeing very diverse substances” in overdose patients who arrive at local hospitals.

More information can be found online at fraserhealth.ca/overdose.

More than 250 naloxone kits that can reverse overdoses have been distributed in Surrey since the recent spike in overdoses.

Lee said initial talks have taken place with Surrey’s mayor and council about the potential to develop a supervised consumption site in the city, as well as other elements of Fraser Health’s new overdose response plan.

Other cities that might host supervised sites have not yet been approached.

“At this time we are looking at our data very closely and monitoring our trends and identifying which municipalities we need to approach,” Lee said.

Fraser Health advice to people who use drugs, and to their friends and families:

– If you are using drugs, do testers and go slow.

– If you are using drugs, have a buddy you can trust with you who is sober, able to recognize the signs of an overdose, and willing to call for medical help if you need it.

– If you are using drugs alone, tell someone before you use, leave the door unlocked and have someone check on you.

– If you are using drugs, we strongly advise you not to mix multiple substances, including alcohol. Mixing opioids with downers or opioids with uppers puts you at higher risk of overdose.

More to come

Just Posted

Rainfall warning: Up to 70 mm expected across Fraser Valley

Environment Canada issued a weather warning heading into the long weekend

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack students take the lead as mental health advocates

About 100 Chilliwack youth prepped to make a difference during Mental Health Week

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read