Pubdate: Fri, 19 May 2017
Source: Metro (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Metro Canada
Author: Wanyee Li
Page: 14


Six people died from overdoses last week in Vancouver

As the number of overdose deaths continues to rise in Vancouver, the
city announced it wants to see more fentanyl test strips made
available to drug users.

The strips test for the presence of fentanyl and a nine-month pilot
project at Insite found users who knew their drugs contained fentanyl
were more likely to decrease their dose and therefore less likely to

It's an approach that could save more lives, said Mayor Gregor
Robertson. "Our residents are literally dying waiting for both
treatment options that will get them off dangerous street drugs and
save their lives, and immediate interventions like expanded drug
testing that reduce overdoses," he said in a press release.

The mayor is calling on the next provincial government to increase
funding for addiction treatments and interventions.

"Whether the next provincial government is comprised of BC Liberal,
NDP or Green party members, our province urgently needs a government
that will dramatically expand treatment and prevention to immediately
save lives and connect people with the medical supports they need,"
said Robertson.

Fentanyl checks will continue to be available at Insite, according to
Vancouver Coastal Health. Six Vancouverites died from drug overdoses
last week, bringing the total to a record 154 deaths so far in 2017,
according to the city.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services responded to 109 overdose calls.
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