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

The Bernice Friesen novel, “Universal Disorder,” will be launched via Zoom on Nov. 14. Photo supplied.
Fat Oyster Reading Series hosting online launch of new novel by Comox Valley author

Fanny Bay’s Fat Oyster Reading Series is going digital, for the launch… Continue reading

A photo of the missing mushroom pickers from the Lil’Wat Nation near Pemberton: River Leo (left) and dad Peter Oleski. Facebook photo/Sea to Sky Road Conditions page
Two Comox Valley-based search organizations assisting in missing Pemberton mushroom pickers

Two members from the Lil’Wat Nation were last seen Oct. 22

Students at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary kicked off the Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) campaign in 2019. Scott Stanfield photo
Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign adapts to COVID-19 challenges

“We didn’t want to lose our heartfelt hands-on approach.”

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at HMCS Quadra in Comox

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)
Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read