According to the BC Coroners Service, in February 2019 90 died from an overdose across BC, including 29 people in the VCH region.
Overdoses seen at Emergency
In March 2019 there were 697 overdoses seen at nine VCH Emergency Departments. The majority of overdoses occurred in males (74%) and in people aged 19 to 39 years (52%).
Supervised Consumption and Overdose Prevention Sites
In March 2019, there were 9,840 visits to the supervised injection room. Among those, 84 overdoses were reversed.
Powell Street Getaway
In March 2019, there were 3,215 visits to the supervised injection room. Among those, 22 overdoses were reversed.
Overdose Prevention Sites
In March 2019, there were 37,059 visits to the five supervised injection rooms. Among those, 286 overdoses were reversed.
In March 2019, 356 drug checks were performed and 53% 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:
- Op-ed, by Dr Evan Wood and Dr Keith Ahamad, published in the Vancouver Sun regarding regulating the heroin market. http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/regulating-heroin-would-improve-public-health-and-safety
- Established 3 new sites where people can obtain take-home naloxone kits for a total of 419 sites across VCH.
- Sent 6 alerts about drug contamination via the Real-time Drug Alert & Response (RADAR) System.
- The Molson Overdose Prevention Site held an open house for people to view the injection room and learn about the various low barrier injectable programs and injectable tablet program.
- Tenant Overdose Response Organizers (TORO) held a Health Fair at Oppenheimer Park distributing harm reduction supplies such as meth pipes and naloxone kits to the local community.