Overdose issues continue to plague Maple Ridge

Overdose issues continue to plague Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP responded to five overdoses in two days last month

As overdose numbers continue to climb in Maple Ridge, police and health services plead with drug users to be more wary of their actions.

Ridge Meadows RCMP tweeted on June 25 that they had responded to five reports of overdoses over the space of two days.

As this was of some concern, they shared a Fraser Health overdose alert saying there have been a significant increase in overdoses in the city over the past several weeks.

Local RCMP media relations officer Const. Julie Klaussner, said police are encouraging people to call the police if they feel anyone is in trouble.

“The Ridge Meadows RCMP wanted to share the messaging of Fraser Health and encourage anyone to come forward and report an incident if you believe that someone is potentially overdosing,” Klaussner said, before referencing an article written last year by the local officer in charge, Jennifer Hyland.

“The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act was created to alleviate your fears.

“Your friends, their parents, your parents and everyone around you will see that your brave choice to call and save a life outweighs everything else.”

The act referenced provides some legal protection for individuals who seek emergency help during an overdose. It applies to anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing the overdose.

It can protect from charges for possession of a controlled substance, as well as breach of conditions regarding simple possession of controlled substances.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge overdoses spike in first half of 2020

READ MORE: Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

READ MORE: Isolation, drug toxicity lead to spike in First Nations overdose deaths amid pandemic: FNHA

Doug Sabourin, interim executive director for Alouette Addictions Services Society in Maple Ridge, said while COVID-19 is of great concern, now is not the time to forget about the opioid epidemic ravaging the province.

“We still have huge number of overdose deaths,” he said. “I understand in the month of May we surpassed the overdose deaths from last year.”

Sabourin blames adulterated street drugs for many of the issues since this year.

“There’s no safe supply of drugs for habitual users,” he said, adding with the closing of the international borders, some drugs like heroin are not being imported into Canada, so street dealers are adding more powerful narcotics like fentanyl to their product in order to stay in business.

Added isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions has also proved to be quite dangerous for local drug users.

“One of the unwritten rules of drug use is don’t do drugs alone,” Sabourin said.

“With social isolation it appears to us that people are doing drugs by themselves too often, so if they do get in trouble, there’s no-one around to help them, which is a really big deal.”

Alouette Addictions are distributing harm reduction supplies at unprecedented levels, Sabourin pointed out.

“Clean needles, alcohol swipes, condoms; all these things that people need to ensure they’re not hurting themselves even more than they already are with drugs,” he said, adding the society considers itself an essential service.

“We’re trying really hard to keep people safe and that’s a really difficult task because sometimes people are their own worst enemies.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgeoverdose crisis

Just Posted

Maple Ridge city hall (The News files)
Maple Ridge turns to public for consultation on transportation plan

Mayor encourages all residents to participate in ‘important engagement process’

Ethan Page, left, and Nicky Walton received Excellence in Arts Scholarship Awards in music. (Special to The News)
Port Haney Artist-in-Residence Aaron Moran. (Special to the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News)
Personal reflections of Maple Ridge are needed for new public art project

Residents of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome to share stories and poems

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maple Ridge elementary school exposed to COVID-19

Exposure event at Glenwood elementary the seventh in past two weeks

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Upset by being called an ‘idiot’

Maple Ridge writer disagrees with majority on COVID safety protocols and their impacts

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

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

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read