B.C. launches emergency response centre to curb overdose deaths

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy says centre to connect provincial, local teams

The provincial government is launching a multi-tiered overdose emergency response centre to better connect regional and local social workers, health authorities, first responders and others.

On Friday, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy announced the centre will be located out of the Vancouver General Hospital, seeing as the city has the highest number of overdose deaths.

Between January and September this year, more than 1,100 people have died of an overdose in B.C., compared to 981 in 2016, and 519 in 2015.

“We are escalating our response, not just to prevent overdose deaths today, but to get at the very heart of the crisis so that no one has to lose another loved one,” Darcy said.

Led by Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical health officer Dr. Patricia Daly, the facility will be made up of experts and full-time health staff in Vancouver, with five regional teams implemented at each health authority.

New teams will be in place by January, Darcy added, in communities identified as having most urgent need.

Overdose deaths by city
Infogram

The teams will focus on four priorities: expanding harm reduction through more access to treatment and housing, increasing access to Naloxone and training, implementing more drug testing systems at overdose prevention centres, and offering more drug substitution programs.

Currently, only 200 people have access to drug substitution programs, all located within the Downtown Eastside.

In November, Darcy announced two pilot projects: a new drug-checking program at a Vancouver overdose prevention centre, and expanding the supply of fentanyl test strips across B.C.

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

Just Posted

Surrey Mounties seeking witnesses to Saturday shooting

Police say the victim isn’t providing investigators with information

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

B.C.’s virtual ‘SoundON’ concerts kick off with sounds of Surrey festival

‘FVDED Broadcast’ from nightclub on July 18, as charity event

Surrey council approves $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This came before council’s meeting on Monday July 13

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read