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

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Fraser-Cascade School Board votes to invest in protecting the future of its students’ hearing

Decibel monitors to be installed in secondary schools’ machine shops as a visual guide

Kent-Harrison Foundation celebrates 25 years

The foundation started in 1994 on the promise of a two-for-one donation deal

Bucket-list flight for Chilliwack grandmother

Hampton House resident treated to a beautiful plane ride in Moments that Matter

Lagoon improvements, but no safety audit recommendations, coming to Harrison

The lagoon will see electrical upgrades, a new flag pole and fencing, but no life jackets or signs

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

VIDEO: Vancouver fall to Seattle in Game 2 of the playoffs

Thunderbirds topple the Giants 4-1 in Langley, evening the Western Conference series one game each

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fraser Valley Bandits draft Abbotsford’s Joel Friesen first overall

Professional basketball team reveals 13 players selected at CEBL draft

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Most Read