Fentanyl is in the Bow Valley

But you won’t see it coming


The opioid crisis has reared its ugly head in one of Canada’s most beautiful destinations. It’s here. As a community, we have to do something about it. Fentanyl has been found in every party drug we’re aware of in the Bow Valley. Moly. Blow. Oxy, you name it. If you’re using, know your risks—and never use alone. If you have friends who use, we’ll teach you how to identify an overdose, and follow simple steps to save a life—including how to administer naloxone.


What does an Overdose look like?

Fentanyl overdoses are increasing in the Bow Valley. If you’re partying with someone who’s using, here are the signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • breathing is slow or not breathing at all
  • nails and/or lips are blue
  • choking or throwing up
  • making gurgling sounds
  • skin is cold and clammy
  • seizures
  • unresponsive/can’t wake up

Someone is overdosing. What do I do?

If you use or know someone who uses, pick up a naloxone kit. It could save someone’s life.

If you see someone overdosing, call 911 immediately. The Good Samaritan Law provides some protection to those who witness the OD and make the call. You can learn more about that here

Before help arrives, and even if you don’t have a naloxone kit, follow steps 1 – 3 of the SAVE ME steps  to keep someone alive until help arrives.


Naloxone SAVE ME Steps

Follow the SAVE ME steps to respond to an overdose. If the person must be left unattended at any time, put them in the recovery position (Mouth downward for fluid to drain from airway, chin up to keep throat open, arms and legs locked to stabilize position).

1. Stimulate

Perform sternal rub (with closed fist, rub knuckles up and down on person’s chest). If the person is unresponsive, call 911 if you haven’t already

2. Airway

Ensure nothing in the mouth is obstructing the airway

3. Ventilate

If this person is not breathing, plug their nose, tilt the head back and provide 1 breath every 5 seconds for 2 minutes. You should see the chest rise with each breath.


If nothing changes, if they are still unresponsive and aren’t adequately breathing, inject Naloxone while you wait for first responders to arrive.

5. Muscular injection

  • Expose thigh as much as possible, divide into thirds, plan to inject into the middle section
  • Clean injection area with alcohol swab
  • Take cap off vial, clean vial with alcohol swab
  • Connect needle to syringe and draw up entire vial (1 mL of liquid)
  • Remove air bubbles in syringe
  • Hold needle like a dart and insert into middle of the thigh at 90°
  • Push down on the plunger slowly and steadily
  • Remove needle at 90° and dispose safely (back into kit container)


6. Evaluate again

  • Naloxone takes 2 – 5 minutes to start working
  • Continue rescue breathing for 2 minutes. If there’s no change, or if person is still unresponsive, draw 2nd dose of Naloxone
  • Continue rescue breathing until person becomes responsive or help arrives
  • If the person starts to breathe on their own, place in recovery position

Where can I get naloxone in the Bow Valley?

If you’re using or with people who use drugs, naloxone is lifesaving. You can’t see fentanyl coming, but you can be prepared. Pick up a naloxone kit for free and without a prescription at the following locations:

Bow Valley Primary Care Network Member Clinics

Bear Street Family Physicians
302 220 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1H6
Phone: (403) 762-4846

Canmore Associate Medical Clinic
1151 Sidney St #124, Canmore, AB T1W 3G1
Phone: (403) 678 5585

Ridgeview Medical Centre
212-1240 Railway Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 1P4
Phone: (403) 609-8333

Other Locations – Banff

Banff Mineral Springs Emergency Department
305 Lynx St, Banff, AB T1L 1H7

Gourlay's Pharmacy
104 220 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1A1

IGA Pharmacy
318 Marten St, Banff, AB T1L 1B4

Other Locations - Canmore

Gourlay's Clinic Pharmacy
1151 Sidney St, Canmore, AB T1W 3G1

Shoppers Drug Mart
933 Railway Ave, Canmore, AB T1W 1P3


Visit DrugSafe.ca for more information on fentanyl and other opioids.


What’s the Bow Valley Opioid Task Force?

The Bow Valley Task Force is a coalition of concerned groups coming together to do something about opioid poisonings in the Valley. We see overdose rates rising. We won’t sit idly by when we can make a positive difference. So we will. We’re using our networks and influence to tackle this crisis right here in the Bow Valley. Because it’s our home. Because we can save lives.

Who makes up the Task Force?

Here’s who’s behind this initiative:

  • Town of Banff 
  • Town of Canmore 
  • Municipal District of Bighorn 
  • Bow Valley Primary Care Network (PCN)
  • Banff Lake Louise Hospitality Association
  • Canadian Rockies Public Schools
  • Bow Valley Young Adult Coalition
  • YWCA (Bow Valley)
  • Addictions and Mental Health – Bow Valley
  • RCMP – Banff & Canmore detachments
  • Bow Valley Victim Services
  • Fire/EMS – from all 3 muni’s
  • Alberta Justice  - local probation officer
  • Banff Mineral Springs Hospital