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.

Just Posted

Coming up in Cowichan: Family fun at an arena near you; live Nativity and more

Free Christmas Family Skate at Kerry Park Sunday There will be a… Continue reading

Lake Flashback: December Madness hits the lake, Joe Allen named chair, golf club needs buyer

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

One month later, Cowichan fisherman still missing

Colin Court has been missing since Nov. 15 after disappearing while fishing near Youbou’s Shaw Creek

Mary Lowther column: Microgreens hit the spot for gardeners in winter

Vitamins like C, B and E increase by 10 to 20 per cent when seeds are sprouted

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

UPDATE: University student dies, another injured in car crash in Nanaimo

Students part of Vancouver Island University’s automotive program

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read