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October 27, 2017 8:19 pm

Province to work with Feds on Opioid Overdose Crisis

Monday, November 14, 2016 @ 7:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – This is Addiction  Awareness Week  and the Province of B.C. is hoping to get the Federal Government on board in the battle  against  drug overdoses.

Later this week, here will be  a federal summit on opioid overdoses, and  B.C.’s  Minister of Health  Terry Lake will be there “”We recognize a strong partnership with the federal government is essential to ending the crisis.”

Since January of this year,  555 people in B.C.  have  died  as a result of  illicit drug overdoses.  That’s  a 61% increase  in the number of  overdoses  during the same period  a year ago. The overdose  crisis in  B.C.  is ” one of the most severe and tragic public health emergencies of our time” says Minister Lake.

As part of the Provincial strategy to  reduce  deaths from  opioid overdoses,  RCMP and firefighters have  been  armed with naloxone,  a drug that can  counteract  an overdose, so that they  can administer  it  when they are called to  a scene involving an overdose.

Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown estimates there have been about  100 overdose calls  in this City  since October of 2015, and  about a dozen  of those cases were fatal.

The Province has also launched a  public awareness campaign  and is  working on a cross-government strategy  for mental health and substance use  issues. “Fortunately, the most recent Coroners Service numbers show we
have been able to slow down the rate of increase in fatal drug overdoses – but the number is still far too high” says Lake,  who says the Province will  continue to work  with the Federal Government  in  an effort to move forward on measures that fall  under Federal jurisdiction.


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