British Columbia managed to break its own previous record of daily overdose calls for their ambulance service. Previously, its record was of 121 calls, on the 20th of November 2016. Not even one year later, on the 26th of April British Columbia’s Emergency Health Service reported to have recorded 130 possible overdose cases in their province. These all happened in the span of a single day.
Spike in overdoses
Of the 130 reported cases, 52 of the suspected overdose reports belong to the city of Vancouver. Curious to note is the fact that spikes in overdoses appear usually around the period when social assistances payment vouches are distributed. This is something that first responders are used to expecting and are taking necessary steps to be prepared before these the checks are distributed.
Preparations for these situations include increase in staff availability during the distribution periods for these cheques. These are most notably increased in the cities of Vancouver and Surrey. There are even bike squads deployed in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to help increase the speed of these fast response units when traffic is usually a big problem.
An increase in overdose rates
According to reports from a Vancouver-based overdose prevention society, they have seen an increase from 100 people a day to 500 that are suffering from the effects of overdose. They claim that the situation is chaotic and people should not forget that we are not talking about a few isolated cases, but a fully blown health crisis.
Although this society has not been legally sanctioned by the government, they claim their work is needed to help combat the ever increasing problem that is the overdose crisis. And they claim that the only course of action for them is to bring alternative, preventive medicine to help prevent overdoses in the first place.