Emergency responders are calling for more access to addiction treatment to help get those addicted off the streets.

Nine overdose deaths in one night in Vancouver, four more across province

Police and fire chiefs call for quicker access to addiction treatment

Nine people died of drug overdoses in Vancouver on Thursday night, nearly all of them on the Downtown Eastside, officials said.

That has emergency responders calling for more access to addiction treatment in order to get those addicted off the street.

Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer compared the nine deaths to the 11 homicides and 15 motor vehicle deaths so far this year.

“Can you imagine nine dying from any other cause in one single day?” Palmer told a news conference.

Addicts are having to wait about nine days to get into a treatment facility in Vancouver, he said, which is too long.

“You lose the window to help within hours,” he said. “We need to help them right away as they are at risk of dying if we don’t help them.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson talked about how harm reduction, such as handing out Naloxone kits, isn’t going to solve this problem.

Providence Crosstown Clinic on West Hastings Street provides hydromorphone to 125 people per day, he said, the only option for replacement therapy to addicts, and more is needed.

“We’ve been treading water for years,” he said. “We have to focus now on the treatment piece.”

Another four people died Thursday after drug use throughout the rest of the province, according to the B.C. Coroners Service. One in Burnaby, two in the Fraser Region and one in northern B.C.

Last month, the provincial government promised $5 million to help paramedics respond faster, as part of its strategy to combat the overdose crisis.

It also announced the opening of a handful of overdose prevention sites in regions with some of the highest overdose deaths rates this year, including Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

And earlier this week, B.C. also enacted a ministerial order to allows emergency health services to provide overdose prevention treatment as necessary on an emergency basis.

Vancouver city councillors themselves also hiked property taxes to help fight the local opioid crisis.

 


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Students spend night at White Rock shelter

Students hear powerful stories about homelessness on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

A look at White Rock’s next council agenda

Following a public hearing, council will hear annual reports from a number of its committees

‘Meet Your Muslim Neighbour’ event bridges gap on Semiahmoo Peninsula, association says

Event serves as an educational space for residents in South Surrey-White Rock

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Cougars 4-0

Goaltender David Tendeck turned aside all 38 Prince George shots for his WHL-leading third shutout

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read