New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart. (Facebook)

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

Vancouver’s mayor says he will direct staff to look for sites where drug users can access safe opioids to prevent overdoses as part of a plan recommended by an emergency task force calling for more services for people who are dying alone.

Kennedy Stewart says the number of overdose deaths has remained about the same as last year despite the best efforts of front-line workers, first responders and health professionals who seem to be fighting a losing battle.

The sites where hydromorphone may be supplied are part of an approved research project involving the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which had already suggested making the opioid available in vending machines.

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health and a member of the task force, says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province because of the high number of single-room occupancy hotels and shelters, and they need alarm systems, apps or other ways to get help.

Stewart formed the task force last month shortly after taking office.

He says the report that also calls for $2.7 million in funding from the province and $770,000 from the federal government will go before city council on Thursday for approval.

The B.C. Coroners Service recorded 369 deaths in Vancouver last year and by September this year, 297 people had died.

Stewart says he has discussed Vancouver’s overdose crisis with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who seemed to be deeply sympathetic about the issue.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young Muslims offer helping hand to isolated residents throughout Lower Mainland

Neighbourhood Helper campaign aims to get help to people who can’t leave their homes

White Rock’s promenade to close to the public

Public access to popular waterfront walkway closing April 10: city

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps closed due to COVID-19

Access restricted to Crescent Beach over Easter weekend, City of Surrey announces

LETTER: With a long road of recovery ahead, Surrey must keep RCMP

To change for the sake of change shows weak leadership, inability to understand needs of community

Urban Safari Rescue Society starts online video presentations

Animal shelter struggling to stay afloat during pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read