Island Health is launching an awareness campaign aimed at supporting men who use drugs alone, recognizing that it’s a population that is more at risk of overdose. (News Bulletin file photo)

Island Health is launching an awareness campaign aimed at supporting men who use drugs alone, recognizing that it’s a population that is more at risk of overdose. (News Bulletin file photo)

Island Health trying to prevent overdoses by reaching out to men who use drugs alone

Health authority launching eight-week awareness campaign

Overdose advisories are in effect right now on Vancouver Island and the health authority is trying to reach out to some of the drug users who are most at risk of overdose.

Island Health announced Tuesday, May 4, that it is launching an eight-week awareness campaign aimed at men who use drugs alone.

Island Health said of the 263 illicit drug toxicity deaths on the Island last year, 225 of the people who died were men and 126 were in a private residence when they overdosed.

“We know that among those who die from toxic drug poisoning, men who use alone are at greatest risk,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health’s chief medical health officer, in a press release. “We want them to know their lives matter and there are supports and treatments to help keep them alive.”

READ ALSO: Health authority extends overdose advisory for Vancouver Island communities

Island Health noted in the release that people who live with addictions may hide their drug use. That leads to using drugs alone, which leads to a higher risk of overdose death because the ability to seek medical help is diminished.

The new campaign will seek to support men to break their silence.

“People use drugs for many, complex reasons, and often even the people closest to those who’ve overdosed didn’t know they were using,” said Sheila Malcolmson, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, in the release. “That’s why breaking down stigma about who uses drugs is so important. Let’s have open conversations that encourage people to break the silence and reach out for help.”

Island Health points to B.C. Coroners Service data that shows half of the men who died from toxic drugs were employed, and more than half worked in trades and the transport industry.

Island Health suggests rather than use drugs alone, people should try to be in the company of someone who can administer naloxone and call for help if needed. The health authority also recommends testing drugs, taking a small tester hit before a regular hit, or accessing supervised consumption services where available.

The LifeGuard app is available at www.lifeguarddh.com, the national overdose response service can be reached at 1-888-688-6677 and Island Health resources are available at http://islandhealth.ca/stopoverdose.

For more information, click here.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

overdose crisis

Just Posted

Kwalikum Secondary students are happy with the first edition of the ‘Kwalikum Observer’. (Submitted photo)
KSS students produce first issue of ‘Kwalikum Observer’ newspaper

Editor says the paper offers a good outlet for students

(PQB News file photo)
Parksville Fire Department reminds residents of backyard burning and fireworks bans

Beach fires are always prohibited by provincial legislation

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Most Read