Recent overdoses in Vernon may be linked to synthetic cannabinoid

Synthetic drug causing ODs

UPDATE: 8:35 p.m.

Interior Health has expanded its drug alert for a synthetic cannabinoid to include the Kamloops area. 

After alerting drug users that samples of drugs sold as "down" in Vernon tested positive for AMB-FUB, a synthetic cannabinoid that can cause seizures, IH expanded the alert to include Kamloops as well.

The sample also contained fentanyl and caffeine, and was a light brown/beige colour. 

"AMB-FUB can cause serious symptoms such as seizures, agitation, confusion, respiratory failure (stopping breathing), anxiety, hallucinations and death," IH said. 

ORIGINAL: 2 p.m.

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for the Vernon area.

IH is noting multiple recent overdoses have resulted in seizures that may be caused by synthetic cannabinoid.

"A recent sample of the drug ‘down’ tested in Vernon has shown positive for AMB FUB (synthetic cannabinoid), which is known to cause seizures," says IH.

Interior Health advises not using drugs alone, and to avoid using different drugs at the same time. They recommend users start with a small amount and take it slow, and have someone there check on you.

If you are using alone, IH encourages you to download the Lifeguard app, which is available on both Apple and Android devices.

Slow or no breathing, gurgling or gasping, lips or fingertips turning blue, difficulty in awakening the subject and being non-responsive are all signs of an overdose.

When witnessing an overdose, call 911, open the subject's airway and give rescue breaths. Administer Naloxone if you have it.

Naloxone kits and training are available from the Cammy LaFleur Street Outreach, Interior Health, Public Health units, and Turning Points Collaborative Society.

The alert will be in effect until Sept. 23.

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