Overdoses

Overdoses

A significant increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths across B.C. prompted Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall to declare a public health emergency April 2016. 

If someone overdoses

  • call 9-1-1 immediately
  • provide rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth)
  • administer naloxone 

Ways to reduce your overdose risk

  • avoid using alone; fix with a friend
  • try a small amount of new drugs first
  • stagger use with friends so someone can respond if needed
  • avoid using more than one drug at a time (stacking drugs increases risk of overdoses and contributes to more severe overdoses)
  • carry and use naloxone and have an overdose response plan
  • be close to help
  • use an Overdose Prevention Service

This applies to all methods of drug consumption – injection, inhalation, snorting, smoking or consuming with alcohol.

Find an Overdose Prevention or Supervised Consumption Service 

Overdose Prevention and Supervised Consumption Services are locations where people can use illegal drugs under supervision by trained staff. As part of health care services, staff in these locations monitor people who are at risk of overdose and provide rapid intervention if necessary. 

Read the final report on the evaluation of overdose prevention sites in Campbell River, Courtenay, Cowichan Valley and Port Alberni.

Note: Overdose Prevention Services are allowed under special Ministerial Order (Ministerial Order M488) under the Emergency Services Act. Supervised Consumption Services are approved by Health Canada for exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Please see Overdose Prevention and Supervised Consumption Locations for a list of sites in your community.

Help Spread the Word

StopOverdoseBC.ca social media post suggestions - toolkit
People who use drugs are real people - poster
Overdose awareness at festivals - toolkit
Poster - Tips for safer drug use
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How to respond to an opioid overdose
Let's Talk: Speaking with Our Kids about Substance Use
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