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Northern Health issues toxic drug alert for 'down' in Prince George

The substance has been linked to fatal overdoses

Northern Health is alerting the public that there’s been a significant increase in overdose events in Prince George due to a light blue, chunk-like substance, known as “down."

It has been causing users to experience extended periods of sedation lasting several hours after just one inhalation.

The substance has been linked to fatal overdoses and testing has confirmed the presence of high concentrations of fentanyl and bromazolam (benzodiazepine).

Northern Health issues the alert on Feb. 10 and noted substances move throughout the region so it may be present in other communities outside the city.

In Prince George, overdose prevention sites are located at Two Doors Down, 1126 Third Ave which is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Northern Health Needle Exchange and Harm Reduction Clinic open from Monday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

People who use drugs, those who support them, and community members are encouraged to opt-in for toxic drug alerts by texting the keyword JOIN to ALERTS (253787). They will receive toxic drug and drug poisoning alerts and public health alerts.

Tips for drug-use safety include:

  • Get overdose prevention, recognition, and response training; carry naloxone
  • Don’t use alone. Make a plan and tell a buddy who can call for help if needed
  • If you plan to use alone, use the Lifeguard or BeSafe app available free on the app store or on Toward the Heart website
  • Know your tolerance. If you are sick or had a time of abstinence or reduced use, use much less
  • When possible, avoid mixing drugs or mixing drugs with alcohol
  • Test a small amount first and go slow
  • Use in an Overdose Prevention Site (OPS)
  • Get your drugs checked at Two Doors Down (6 days a week, 10 am to 2 pm Wednesday to Saturday, and 4 pm to 8 pm Tuesday to Sunday, closed Mondays; Appointments can be made outside these hours by texting or calling 250-301-3285)
  • Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number right away if someone overdoses