New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart. (Facebook)

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

Vancouver’s mayor says he will direct staff to look for sites where drug users can access safe opioids to prevent overdoses as part of a plan recommended by an emergency task force calling for more services for people who are dying alone.

Kennedy Stewart says the number of overdose deaths has remained about the same as last year despite the best efforts of front-line workers, first responders and health professionals who seem to be fighting a losing battle.

The sites where hydromorphone may be supplied are part of an approved research project involving the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which had already suggested making the opioid available in vending machines.

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health and a member of the task force, says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province because of the high number of single-room occupancy hotels and shelters, and they need alarm systems, apps or other ways to get help.

Stewart formed the task force last month shortly after taking office.

He says the report that also calls for $2.7 million in funding from the province and $770,000 from the federal government will go before city council on Thursday for approval.

The B.C. Coroners Service recorded 369 deaths in Vancouver last year and by September this year, 297 people had died.

Stewart says he has discussed Vancouver’s overdose crisis with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who seemed to be deeply sympathetic about the issue.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff shortages plague Mission Institution following recovery from COVID-19 outbreak

Guards at 60% of workforce; inmates suffer daily with lockdown, mental health issues

Long-term planning for jewel known as Vedder Greenway starts with survey

It’s the most popular trail system in Chilliwack with a half million local and LM users each year

Westbound Highway 1 stall in Langley blocking left lane

Congestion starting at 264th Street, crews on scene

School board elects officers, heads in to 2020-21 school year

Robert Reyerse has been the Chamber’s exec. director for 12 years

Volunteer cleaning crew using elbow grease to improve downtown Chilliwack

Sunday morning cleaning sessions tackle drug mess, excrement, chipping paint around business area

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Most Read