System aims to alert users about deadly drugs
Medical health officers in the Vancouver area are aiming to quickly warn drug users about clusters of overdoses and batches of contaminated drugs based on reports from people who use illegal substances. Vancouver Coastal Health says the data will help staff decide what action needs to be taken to prevent fatal overdoses in the midst of an opioid overdose crisis. Sara Young, the health authority’s regional leader of mental health and substance use, says the pilot project has started testing an online web form and a texting service that can be used by people who have registered to receive alerts about overdoses. She says they can report information including the date of an overdose, the town or neighbourhood where a substance was bought, and its physical description.