Interior Health launches Don’t Use Alone campaign

The announcement was made in Kelowna Thursday

Interior Health has launched a new website they hope will curb the number of overdose deaths among those who are using drugs alone.

The website anonymously provides people with options to take a survey, be interviewed by phone or meet in-person and the aim is to learn from those who use drugs alone, so Interior Health can better understand potential actions people might consider to reduce the risk of overdose.

“My little brother died of an overdose,” said Jason Wills, at a press conference held Thursday. “He was an amazing brother, son and friend. We loved him and his drug use killed him. I’m speaking out because I don’t want other parents and families to go through what we have gone through. For me, it’s not about a message of ‘don’t do drugs,’ it’s a message about staying alive, being safer with your use and knowing there are supports available.”

Wills said that his brother Dustin, age 30, didn’t tell his family that he was a drug user, and an autopsy indicated that he only had fentanyl and caffeine in his system. So, it’s unclear whether he was a regular user to begin with.

He’s not sure why he didn’t share the information, but Dr. Silvina Mema said that the stigma of being a drug user is something that’s difficult to overcome.

The anonymity of this project is expected to help get some insights on how to overcome that barrier.

“When people use alone they increase their risk of a fatal overdose,” said Mema, Interior Health medical officer and project lead. “We want to work with people who use alone so we can find ways of reducing the risk. We’ve come a long way in the last couple of years, but there is a still lot to learn to make a difference. We are looking to individuals who could provide their own lived experience; we need their voice to make real change.”

To participate visit

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wrestlers invade Kelowna and Vernon

Wrestling events this weekend benefit numerous Okanagan charities

Kelowna gallery exhibition features relic-like art

Immaculate Deception, by Penticton artist Johann Wessels, will be displayed until July

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Peppa Pig draws a crowd

Okanagan toddlers squirming with excitement over Peppa Pig

Penticton Speedway cleaning up landslide

Owner Johnny Aantjes expects the slide to be cleaned up in time for the next race on Sunday

New acts join Roots and Blues Festival lineup

An eclectic mix of musicians added to Salmon Arm’s slate

Fighting racism is society’s job

BC Hockey’s plan to provide an education package makes a good first step

Proclaimers walk through the Okanagan

The Proclaimers play Vernon Sept. 11. Tickets on sale now through the Ticket Seller

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Glass Tiger rocks the Okanagan

Tickets go on sale April 27

Most Read