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.

Just Posted

Mark Strahl takes commanding lead in Chilliwack-Hope

But Conservatives look like they’re heading back to opposition bench

$1 million fundraising campaign to improve Primary Care Clinic at Chilliwack General Hospital

Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation campaign aims to improve services to most vulnerable patients

Pedestrian struck by vehicle once every five days in Chilliwack

In 2018 there were 76 incidents up from the five-year average of 57

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Police watchdog seeking ‘key witness’ in Taser incident along Vancouver seawall

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. looking for woman who was sitting nearby with dog

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read