Interior Health issues overdose alert following six deaths in Kamloops

By Greg Fry
February 28, 2018 - 1:11pm Updated: February 28, 2018 - 5:24pm

KAMLOOPS — Interior Health and the BC Coroners Service are urging Interior residents to take the necessary steps to avoid an overdose.

This in light of six suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in a 10-day period (Feb.16-Feb.26) in the Kamloops area earlier this month.

"If you look at the approximately 40 deaths that occurred from suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in 2017 for the entire calendar year, six (over 10 days) is obviously a cause for concern," says BC Coroners Service spokesperson Andy Watson. "So, we worked with our partners at Interior Heatlh once we saw this data to prepare this public service announcement."

He says the tragic deaths serve as an important reminder to drug users to take the necessary precautions when using illicit drugs.

"We really just want to remind those that are using substances to take steps to reduce the risk. The biggest step we recommend is don't use alone. Use in the company of someone who can administer naloxone or call 911 for help."

Watson says he won't know what kinds of drugs were consumed until all the autopsies are conducted. He notes the 10-day period of deaths fell within the distribution of income assistance payments from the government.

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