Hundreds of fentanyl tablets were seized from an accused dealer by the RCMP in April. (Submitted photo/RCMP) Hundreds of fentanyl tablets. (RCMP Handout)

Fraser Health issues warning after spike in drug overdose deaths

The region saw 17 people die of suspected illicit drug overdose over the past week

The Fraser Health Authority issued a warning Friday after officials saw a “notable” increase in the number of suspected drug overdose deaths.

“There is a hidden epidemic, with nearly 70 per cent of overdose deaths in Fraser Health occurring at home,” said chief medical health officer Dr. Victoria Lee. The next most common places were hotels and motels.

Between Surrey and Hope, the region saw 17 people die of suspected illicit drug overdose over the past week.

READ MORE: He has rescued more than 100 from overdose

READ MORE: 21 recommendations made after young man’s overdose death

“Our message to people who use drugs is that we recognize that stigma and shame can prevent you from reaching out to others about your drug use and this can be lethal,” a statement from Fraser Health reads. “We encourage you to reach out and talk with a family member, a friend, or a trusted health professional – we want you to stay alive.”

Staff in the region’s hospital emergency rooms are starting to identify people who may be at risk, and offer supports such as Suboxone, an opioid replacement therapy.

They are also following up with all patients who overdosed at home within 48 hours of being discharged from the ER.

Illicit drug overdoses killed a record 914 people in B.C. last year.


 


laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Blue bags are out for curbside recyling and blue bins are in

Use your own bin or the one the city gave you, but no more bags, please, except for shredding

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Traffic snarls at Agassiz/Harrison bridge after biker falls on road

A road bicyclist fell from his bike while crossing the bridge and needed medical attention

Complaint about cattle prods at Chilliwack rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Most Read