(Stock photo)

Island Health has issued a warning to the public of “highly toxic” supply circulating through the city.

The health authority issued the warning on Wednesday stating overdoses are increasing in the Victoria area.

They are also encouraging users to get their drugs tested at Substance UVic, using an overdose prevention site, carrying naloxone and staggering use with a friend, if possible.

“Friends, family and community members using opioids and stimulants face increased risk from injection and inhalation,” said Island Health.

In a tweet, Our Place Society said they responded to several “difficult overdoses” on Wednesday, saying many more experiencing severe psychosis on a drug called Turquoise Down.

Turquoise Down drugs tested at Substance UVic found it contained carfentanyl, benzos & xylazine, and an animal sedative that is “usually fatal in humans.”

The advisories come just days after the province announced the number deaths caused from toxic drug overdoses surpassed 10,000 since 2016.

Between January and June of this year, 1,095 British Columbians have succumbed to the toxic drug supply in the province, according to preliminary data from the BC Coroners Service.

“Deaths due to toxic drugs in the first half of 2022 have surpassed the number of deaths experienced in the same period in 2021, putting our province, once again, on track for a record loss of life,” said BC’s Chief Coroner, Lisa Lapointe.

There have been 187 deaths due to toxic drugs in the Island Health region overall.

“My heart goes out to everyone who is grieving. No words can replace these losses,” said BC’s Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson.

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