(Ruth Hartnup/Flickr)

Toxic drug supply spikes Vancouver overdose calls in April

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services responded to 207 overdose calls from April 23 to 29

The city of Vancouver says the number of emergency calls for drug overdoses and suspected overdose deaths spiked in the final week of April.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services responded to 207 overdose calls from April 23 to 29 — a 74 per cent increase from the previous week.

Vancouver police also reported seven suspected overdose deaths in the same period, up from the four deaths the week prior.

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the spike is the result of a toxic supply of drugs currently on the city streets, and people are urged to take precautions such as using supervised consumption sites.

The city says its supporting initiatives aimed at curbing the use of tainted drugs such as the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s pilot program to expand access to hydromorphone.

Vancouver police say 108 people have died from suspected overdoses this year, adding to the 365 people the BC Coroners Service confirmed died from overdoses in 2017.

“Lives are on the line and we will keep pushing for policy changes that will make sure people have access to safe prescription drugs rather than being forced to turn to deadly street drugs,” Robertson says in a statement.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

Update: Highway 1 reopened after single-vehicle rollover north of Yale

Single-vehicle crash with three occupants happened at Saddle Rock Tunnel at 10:15 a.m.

Highway 7 down to one-lane alternating as crews fight Mt. Hicks wildfire

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Night patrol on Chilliwack waters leads DFO to seize 48 sockeye and harbour seal from poachers

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for fishing at night

WATCH: Recruitment set to start for the Molson Coors Brewery at Chilliwack

There were about 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and some staff now being sought

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read