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

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

Youth and seniors learn from each other

Seniors Health Network launches intergenerational program in White Rock

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society raises $8,000

Donations collected at Christmas event last week

Realtor blanket drive collects 360 bags of clothing

Annual event helps South Surrey and White Rock residents in need

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read