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Fifteen overdose deaths in the last week of April

May 4 2017 Rounding out one of the worst months on record in 2017

"The overdose crisis got dramatically worse last week with one of the highest overdose and death tolls in our history, and devastating impact on hundreds of Vancouver families."

Group of people being trained to give Naloxone

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) reported 15 overdose deaths for the week of April 24, bringing the total to 41 for that month, the second highest on record this year.

There have been an estimated 141 overdose deaths in Vancouver in 2017. Toxicology reports on the most recent deaths are not yet complete and final overdose death numbers need to be confirmed by the BC Coroners Service.

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"The overdose crisis got dramatically worse last week with one of the highest overdose and death tolls in our history, and devastating impact on hundreds of Vancouver families," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "This crisis is BC's most tragic public health emergency in decades, and yet urgent health care interventions that could immediately save lives are not being facilitated. The next provincial government needs to immediately take action on the overdose death crisis because the current government's approach is not working."

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services reported 688 overdose calls in April

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) reported 688 overdose calls in April, the highest month on record for 2017 and an increase of 22 per cent from March.

The last week of April was particularly busy as first responders continue to struggle to respond with no end in sight. VFRS reported 215 overdose calls for the week of April 24, up from 169 the week before and BC Emergency Health Services reported that April 26 had more overdose calls in a single day than ever recorded Global News External website with 130 calls.

The City urging BC's next government to make this a top priority 

The City is urging all political parties running to form BC's next government to make this public health emergency a top priority. Municipal governments have been struggling to contain the crisis on the front lines, and community members continue to experience unprecedented death and trauma.

We need strong commitments from the provincial government to address the crisis, including a dedicated and transparent annual budget with clear timelines for urgent scale up of addictions treatment options, including injectable opioid assisted therapy.

Reports