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

Abbotsford parents invited to anti-gang education session

Presenters to discern myth from reality, offer warning signs that youths are getting into gangs

Welcome to 89 years at the same Abbotsford address

Philip Sheffield lunch brings past students together one more time

Abbotsford firefighters knock down house fire before it can spread

No one believed to be inside structure at the time of the fire on Clayburn Road Saturday morning

Abbotsford youths grill mayor on environmental policy at rally

Local youths continued climate strike as worldwide action takes place in hundreds of cities

Stolen stamp collection has been returned to owners in Abbotsford

Good Samaritan found the stamps hidden away in some bushes and turned them over to police

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Most Read