Almost every health region in the province saw an increase in overdose calls last year. (Blackpress files)

Almost every health region in the province saw an increase in overdose calls last year. (Blackpress files)

Overdose call numbers reach five-year-high in Maple Ridge.

BC Emergency Health Services responded to almost 500 local calls in 2020

The call is becoming depressingly familiar to paramedics across the province.

The opioid crisis has resulted in emergency health workers responding to more overdoses than ever in 2020.

Maple Ridge is no exception.

According to the latest numbers released by BC Emergency Health Services, there were 492 calls to respond to overdoses in the city.

That is a 17.5 per cent uptick from 2019, and a 22.4 percent increase from the year previous.

READ MORE: Drug overdose epidemic made worse by pandemic

In the last five years since the crisis has intensified, the closest year in numbers was 2017, during which paramedics responded to 431 calls.

Numbers in neighbouring Pitt Meadows are considerably less.

Forty overdose calls were responded to in 2020, which is one call more than 2019, but less than the 57 responded to in 2017.

Calls for overdoses spiked during the pandemic, an Emergency Health Services press release noted.

“In July BC Emergency Health Services dispatch staff and paramedics handled the highest number of overdose responses ever recorded in a single month,” it read.

”The final tally for 9-1-1 calls from someone suffering a potential overdose [in 2020] was 27,067; up 12 per cent over 2019.”

The Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Valley regions continue to have the highest number of overdose calls, as they include 50 per cent of the province’s population. Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria remain the top communities for overdose calls.

Several other communities in B.C. experienced a dramatic increase in calls. These communities had lower call volumes than metro areas but felt the impact of dramatic increases in overdoses.



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

addictionsHealthmaple ridgeoverdose crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge and Langley Township have made the Smart21 list.
Virtual conference co-hosts Maple Ridge and Langley Township make list of Smart21

21 communities shortlisted for Intelligent Community of the Year after online event

Snowfall warnings Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 for parts of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Chilliwack Progress)
Winter storm warnings Thursday for Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Snow is expected to become heavier as day progresses with snowfall amounts of up to 30 centimetres

Annemieke Vrijmoed sent in this photo that for her captures the magic of the Fraser River.
SHARE: The magic of the Fraser River

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Members of Katzie First Nation got into the spirit of Pink Shirt Day with honking, car decoration, and drumming. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Katzie First Nation recognizes Pink Shirt Day with ‘honking’ parade

Community rallies together to promote anti-bullying message

COVID-19 (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposures at schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Alexander Robinson and Edith McDermott are latest elementary schools exposed

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police stopped car riddled with bullets in Whalley Monday night. (Photo: CFSEU)
Police seize two pounds of pot, $25K from Surrey car riddled with bullet holes

This was in the neighbourhood of 104th Avenue and Whalley Boulevard on Monday night

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read