According to the BC Coroners Service, in January 2019 90 died from an overdose across BC, including 29 people in the VCH region.
Overdoses seen at Emergency
In February 2019 there were 569 overdoses seen at nine VCH Emergency Departments. The majority of overdoses occurred in males (74%) and in people aged 19 to 39 years (51%).
Supervised Consumption and Overdose Prevention Sites
In February 2019, there were 8,656 visits to the supervised injection room. Among those, 83 overdoses were reversed.
Powell Street Getaway
In February 2019, there were 3,115 visits to the supervised injection room. Among those, 20 overdoses were reversed.
Overdose Prevention Sites
In February 2019, there were 31,278 visits to the five supervised injection rooms. Among those, 209 overdoses were reversed.
In February 2019, 536 drug checks were performed and 66% of substances tested contained fentanyl.
Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care are extremely concerned about the high number of overdoses and overdose deaths in our region and throughout the province and continue to take steps to respond. VCH & PHC and its partners are taking a number of steps to reduce opioid/fentanyl-related overdoses, including new actions this month:
- St. Paul's Hospital's (SPH) Emergency Department (ED), in collaboration with the VCH Regional Addiction Program, is piloting a project to provide opioid overdose patients with a 3-day to-go kit of buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone) treatment upon discharge.
- Established 4 new sites where people can obtain take-home naloxone kits for a total of 416 sites across VCH.
- Sent 2 alerts about drug contamination via the Real-time Drug Alert & Response (RADAR) System.
- Held a Community Dialogue on Drug Checking for the GLBT nightlife community in Vancouver February 14 with Health Initiative for Men (HIM).
- Hosted a Dine and Learn event with Vancouver psychiatrists to discuss treatment training opportunities.
- BCCSU and VCH staff released a report on launching a cooperative model and patient-led approach enabling access to a safe supply of drugs (heroin compassion club) to reduce opioid overdose deaths and increase housing affordability and therefore reducing organized crime related to fentanyl, such as money laundering.
- Sunshine Coast Community Action Team (CAT) held a session on drug checking in Sechelt February 7