Interior Health issues drug alert in Cranbrook, warns of MDMA overdoses

There have been recent reports of multiple overdoses with severe outcomes in Cranbrook.

Facebook File.

Interior Health is warning the public about multiple reports of overdoses with severe outcomes in Cranbrook.

On February 25, 2020, Interior Health issued a drug alert, stating that overdoses appear to be linked to MDMA (Molly/Ecstacy). The alert says that toxic drugs are circulating the area.

Dean Nicholson, Executive Director and Substance Use Counsellor with East Kootenay Addiction Services (EKASS) says the Interior Health’s alert speaks to the uncertainty of what’s being sold in street drugs today.

“If people are using, they need to be cautious,” said Nicholson. “People may not necessarily be getting what they think they are.”

He adds that there are ways to avoid an overdose if people do choose to use drugs.

“It is obviously safer if people are not using, but if they are going to do so, use with others, have a naloxone kit handy and know how to use it, and start with a small amount to see if the affects are what they expect,” Nicholson advised.

He says that the AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS) has drug testing kits available.

Jennifer Driscoll, a registered psychiatric nurse with the Harm Reduction Team of EKASS and IH, says that there has been no confirmation that the drugs used in these overdoses were in fact MDMA.

“We’ve heard anecdotally that the people having these overdoses are linked to MDMA, but it is unconfirmed at this time,” said Driscoll. “What we really want to stress is that any drugs have the potential to be laced with fentanyl and that those using should have all of their drugs checked.”

Driscoll explained that ANKORS is the number one resource in the area for drug checking, which can prevent overdose. They have fentanyl test strips available and lots of information on their website.

“Make sure you know about ANKORS testing, so you can see if the substance your using is laced with toxic drugs” she said. “Carry and know how to use naloxone, avoid using different drugs at the same time and don’t mix drugs and alcohol together. Keep your door unlocked and let someone know where you are. Start will a small amount and go slow.”

Interior Health advises users to follow the same protocol that both Driscoll and Nicholson have mentioned.

It is also important, says Interior Health, to know the signs of an overdose and how to respond:

– Recognize the signs of an overdose: slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips/fingertips turning blue, difficult to rouse (awaken), non responsive,

– Call 9-1-1 immediately

– Open airway and give rescue breaths

– Give naloxone (Narcan) if you have it

Naloxone Kits are available at ANKORS, EKASS, IH Public Health and Mental Health Substance Use locations as well as pharmacies.

The alert is in effect until March 3, 2020.

READ MORE: Two overdose deaths in Nelson over the weekend

READ MORE: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

B.C. overdosesDrugs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Closure of Teck’s land holdings prohibits overnight camping

In adherence to provincial restrictions, various recreation sites no longer allow overnight use

Fernie Alpine Resort asks public to steer clear of resort

The ski resort released a letter from their general manager early last week

Elk Valley communities continue to inspire hope

Community members, business owners and more continue to support each other in creative ways

Fernie hires new bylaw officer to oversee health orders

Tom Kramer joined the City of Fernie to help ensure COVID-19 health directives are being followed

Camping, motorized recreation banned at Koocanusa

Restrictions in effect immediately for spring and summer

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

BC Housing enlists Nelson hotels for COVID-19 isolation spaces

The service is for people either at-risk of or currently homeless

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Most Read