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

Maple Ridge senior facing homelessness at the end of the month

Jean Ticehurst can’t find affordable housing

Debate goes on about nutrition and autism in Maple Ridge

Spoke Wednesday at the Chrysta Learning Centre

UPDATE: Car plunges down embankment in Maple Ridge

Two people injured in morning incident

New rail underpass and overpass comes with costs

Pitt Meadows residents will see 0.75 per cent tax increase for rail crossings

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, vehicle crashes

Happened in early evening, injuries unknown

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Cars keyed on BC Ferries after alarms bother dog on board

Delta police arrested one passenger on suspicion of mischief

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read