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Island Health Offers Five Tips for Safer Drug Use at Festivals

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Island Health is partnering with local harm reduction providers in their efforts to prevent, recognize, and respond to overdoses at festivals.

Many substances (i.e. cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and meth, etc.) have been found to be contaminated by fentanyl or other toxic additives, increasing the possibility of a serious overdose.

The sure way to prevent an overdose is to avoid substances. However, if you do consume substances including alcohol, follow these steps from Island Health to stay safe.

  1. Locate the harm reduction and first aid tents as soon as you arrive onsite
  2. If using, take one substance at a time (don’t mix with alcohol)
  3. Use with friends and tell them what you think you have taken
  4. Know the signs of fentanyl/opioid overdose
    • Slow or no breathing
    • Blue lips and fingertips
    • Unresponsive to noise, name or pain
    • Gurgling or snoring sounds
    • Pinpoint pupils or clammy skin
  5. Know how to respond. Carry a Naloxone kit
    • Call 911 and festival first-aid
    • Clear and open airway
    • Provide rescue breathing
    • Administer Naloxone and continue rescue breathing

Find out more from Island Health.

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