Island Health has launched a campaign targeting men who use substances.
The health authority says it’s to bring awareness to the services available and help people stay safer when using drugs. The four-week campaign will be on the radio, social media, digital channels and ads in bus shelters.
Island Health says 327 Island residents died in 2021 due to the toxic drug crisis. The majority of deaths were with men between 30 and 59 years old.
They add that most drug poisoning deaths happen in private homes, which puts users at a higher risk of accidental overdose.
The health authority’s ways to stay safer include using in the presence of someone who can administer naloxone or call for help if needed.
They add the Lifeguard app, Brave app and National Overdose Response Service hotline are also available.
“Men who use alone continue to be at the greatest risk from toxic drug poisonings. These are our fathers, brothers, sons and friends,” said Dr. Sandra Allison, a Medical Health Officer at Island Health. “We want them to know that there are services available that can help them stay safer, stay alive and connect them with whatever support they may need.”
Over 9,227 British Columbians have lost their lives since the crisis was called a public health emergency in 2016.
More information on staying safer can be found on Island Health’s Overdose Prevention Services page.