130 suspected overdoses reported in a single day in B.C.
Seized fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are seen at a New Westminster Police Department news conference on Monday, April 24, 2017.
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, April 28, 2017 11:59AM PDT
VANCOUVER - New numbers from health officials and first responders in British Columbia confirm a provincewide drug overdose crisis shows no sign of abating.
BC Emergency Health Services says it responded to 109 suspected overdoses around B.C. on Thursday, with 71 of those calls coming from the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health districts, within Metro Vancouver.
A further 38 calls were spread across Vancouver Island, the Interior and northern health districts, and a spokeswoman for Emergency Health Services says while Thursday was busy, Wednesday marked an all-time record for calls for paramedics.
Preet Grewal says the service answered 130 suspected overdose calls that day, adding it was too early to tell how many may have been linked to powerful opioids such as fentanyl.
She says the spike coincided with the monthly release of social assistance cheques, and the service is prepared for a challenging weekend.
Grewal says a squad of paramedics on bikes will be deployed to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on the weekend so the service can respond as quickly as possible to any overdose calls.