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Health Professionals

Health professionals and service providers have an important role to play in harm reduction. This area contains resources and other information to help those on the front line and beyond.


  • Penticton - stimulants/uppers with opioidsNovember 15, 2019 • Posted by IH/MK

    There have been recent reports of opioid overdoses in the Penticton community after using what was believed to be a stimulant/upper (ex. amphetamines, methamphetamines etc.).

    For your safety:
     Get your drugs checked for the presence of fentanyl available at the SOWINS mobile outreach van. Call or text (250)809-7054. More info:
     Remember, smoking substances can still lead to overdose, take measures to prevent overdose.
     Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together.
     Don’t use alone. Leave door unlocked. Tell someone to check on you.
     Test by using a small amount, then go slow.
     Carry a Naloxone kit and know how to use it.
     Use at an overdose prevention or supervised consumption site if one is near you.
    Know the signs of overdose and how to respond
     Recognize the signs of an OD: 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 and Training available at: Martin St. Outreach-Primary Care Clinic - 117 - 437 Martin Street, Penticton Pathways Addictions Resource Centre - 1 - 996 Main Street, Penticton Penticton Health Centre - 160 - 740 Carmi Avenue, Penticton Snxastwilxtn Centre - 198 Outma Sqilxw Place, Penticton


Information Sheets

  • Naloxone
      Naloxone FAQ

      This document addresses frequently asked questions related to the drug Naloxone, which is provided through the BCCDC's Take Home Naloxone program. 

      Busting Naloxone Myths

      Common myths about Naloxone are busted in this resource for harm reduction coordinators.

      Naloxone Pre-Loading Concerns

      This document addresses concerns with pre-loading naloxone into syringes for administration.

      Naloxone and Temperature - PDF

      This information provides information about naloxone exposure to heat and cold as well as storage temperature recommendations.

      Naloxone Use in Pregnancy - PDF

      Opioid overdose can cause anoxic brain damage and death. Administration of naloxone to a pregnant person can save the lives of the pregnant person and fetus. This information sheet addresses concerns about using naloxone in pregnancy.

      Naloxone Use in Children - PDF

      Death from unintentional drug overdose in children is preventable. Naloxone administration can save the life of a child and is safe. This information sheet addresses concerns about giving children naloxone.

      Product Monograph - Teligent

      This document contains information about the naloxone manufactured by Teligent. This product is included in the BC Take Home Naloxone and Facility Overdose Response Box programs. This product does not contain a preservative.   

      Product Monograph - Sandoz

      This document contains information about the naloxone manufactured by Sandoz. This product is the secondary (back-up) product periodically included in the BC Take Home Naloxone and Facility Overdose Response Box programs. This product contains preservative. All sites will be notified if/when this product is used.

  • Fentanyl
      Fentanyl and First Responders

      This resource addresses common questions about the risk of fentanyl exposure to first responders and health care workers

      Fentanyl-Induced Muscle Rigidity - PDF

      Fentanyl-induced muscle rigidity, also known as “chest wall rigidity” and "wooden chest syndrome" is a complication of intravenous injection of fentanyl that has been recognized in the induction of anesthesia in hospital populations. This document provides a background as well as recommendations for by-standers as well as recommendations for safer substance use.

  • Syringes
      Single Use Syringes - PDF

      This document addresses common concerns expressed in regards to the use of single-use syringes in the community.

      Distribution Vs Exchange - PDF

      This document summarizes why the BC Harm Reduction program follows a policy of needle distribution rather than one-for-one needle exchange.

      Additional Resources

      For further information regarding best practices related to needle distribution, safe needle disposal and community needle stick injuries, please refer to the Best Practice Recommendations and Guideline resources posted below.  

  • Why Give Breaths?
      Why Give Breaths? - PDF

      Opioid overdose is one of a number of special situations where the American Heart Association recommends a different approach than only chest compressions. This information sheet provides information on the importance of giving breaths when responding to an opiod overdose.

Best Practice, Policies and Procedures

Reports and Research

Updates for Health Professionals