1 dead, 2 taken to hospital after suspected overdoses; warning issued by Mounties about drug supply
A naloxone anti-overdose kit is shown in Vancouver on Feb. 10, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- Mounties in Surrey are warning locals about the drug supply after one person died and two people were taken to hospital for suspected overdoses early on Thursday.
Police say they were called by BC Ambulance to a home near 106 Avenue and 140 Street just after 2 a.m. There, a 46-year-old woman died from a suspected drug overdose despite live-saving efforts by paramedics.
Less than 30 minutes later, police were called to a shelter in the City Centre area. When officers arrived, they learned two people had overdosed after injecting the same unknown drug.
Shelter staff gave the pair Narcan and they regained consciousness and were taken to hospital.
Police say none of the bystanders on scene were willing to give details about the source or type of drugs used.
"Police are informing the public that there may be potentially lethal batches of drugs circulating in the community," Mounties said in a news release.
Mounties are reminding drug users to not use alone and to keep a Narcan kit on-hand. If anyone sees someone thought to be overdosing they should call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
At about noon on Thursday, Sarah Blyth, executive director of the Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver, posted on Twitter that two of their locations had already recorded four overdoses for the day. All four people are now OK, her post said.
Last year, B.C. saw its deadliest year ever for fatal overdoses. In an update last week, B.C.'s chief coroner revealed 1,716 people died in 2020 due to toxic illicit drugs, which is a 74 per cent increase over the 2019 death toll.
Lisa Lapointe said that equates to 4.7 deaths per day, which is two deaths a day higher than in the previous year.
Lapointe said during her announcement deaths due to drug toxicity "far surpass" the number of deaths due to suicides, car crashes, homicides and prescription drugs.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Kendra Mangione