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

Busy first month for Hope’s extreme weather shelter

Two men, homeless, want warm spaces during day

BC Liberal leadership hopeful Micheal Lee stops in Hope

Only party members can vote in leadership vote Feb. 1-3

Men accused in Michael Bonin’s murder knew him: IHIT

20-year-old’s body found on a rural service road North of Hope in April

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Rock slide closes Hwy. 1 south of Ashcroft until Friday afternoon

A rock slide Thursday afternoon near Spences Bridge closed the highway in both directions

Mother struggles to make rent after robbery outside ER

Gofundme campaign started to cover costs

Hope drag racer pursuing perfection at the drag strip

Rick Limb’s mission: reliability and consistency

Hope hikers encounter wolf near Alexandra Bridge

Wolf sightings uncommon, number of wolves growing in B.C.: conservation officer

SD78 board meeting: Careers program grows

Also: Board to track their attendance for transparency, CE Barry running track goes ahead

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Most Read