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

Residents getting chance to tell Surrey council what they think of draft budget

We’ll be reporting live from Finance Committee meeting, set to begin at 4 p.m. at Surrey City Hall

Row, row, row your car, down a Surrey road

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining outside

‘Urgent’ need for toys, cash at Surrey Christmas Bureau depot

A record 1,924 families registered with organization, at old Stardust site

Cloverdale trauma coach’s first book focuses on hope and recovery

Manyi Ebot experienced her own share of trauma, and hopes her story and research can help others

Power outage in South Surrey and White Rock

More than 3,000 customers impacted

Heavy rain, wind cause power outages in White Rock

Chance of showers throughout the evening

Flooding shuts down Columbia Station on Expo Line

TransLink says riders will be bused to connecting Expo and Millennium Line stations

UBCO prof pitches passenger rail service in Okanagan

UBC Okanagan engineering prof envisions tram train from Okanagan to Kamloops

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

Most Read