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Four overdose deaths recorded last week in Vancouver

May 26 2017 VPD releases report with recommendations highlighting the need for treatment on demand

"We need swift and comprehensive health care interventions to get people the treatment they need, when they need it, to reduce and ultimately eliminate deaths from drug overdoses."

Checking blood pressure

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) reported four overdose deaths for the week of May 15, bringing the total to a record estimate of 158 deaths so far this year.

The VPD has released a report calling on the federal and provincial governments to expand treatment options and offer clear accountability and leadership in addressing the crisis.

The Opioid Crisis: The Need for Treatment on Demand contains five recommendations to improve coordination and to ensure proper resourcing so that appropriate treatment with ongoing support is available for every person with a substance use disorder who seeks it. 

Quotes

"Vancouver's overdose death toll in the fentanyl crisis continues to spiral out of control," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We need swift and comprehensive health care interventions to get people the treatment they need, when they need it, to reduce and ultimately eliminate deaths from drug overdoses."

"There is strong momentum and support for effective treatment like clean prescription drugs among health providers, first responders, front line workers, people with lived experience, and city staff. The status quo clearly isn't working, and it's essential that the next BC government urgently funds the health care needed in our communities to save lives."

Big City Mayors Caucus (BCMC) Task Force on the Opioids Crisis

Yesterday morning, the BCMC Task Force on the Opioids Crisis, chaired by Mayor Robertson, released a comprehensive set of recommendations  to the federal government, calling for coordinated, pan-Canadian action from all levels of government to stop drug overdose deaths and address the fentanyl crisis.

As a first step, the BCMC  is calling for the federal government to immediately establish targets and timelines to reduce overdoses and overdose deaths, with a progress report to be issued in September.

Public forum on the overdose crisis

Earlier in the week, the City held a public forum on the overdose crisis at the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at the SFU Woodwards Building.

Community members, frontline healthcare workers, policy makers and journalists joined the discussion to learn more about why the overdose crisis is happening as well as what needs to be done to reduce stigma and save lives.

Those in attendance also heard André Picard, one of Canada's top health and public policy observers, give a keynote address about how stigma shapes health policy and why it is so critical for us to change perceptions about people that use drugs.

Submit an expression of interest to help reduce the effects of the overdose crisis

We are committed to supporting initiatives aimed at mitigating the effects of the overdose crisis across Vancouver.

Currently, we are seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from organizations that have innovative program ideas to mitigate the effects of the crisis including innovative anti-stigma programs and require funds for implementation. 

The deadline for receipt of EOIs is 5pm on Friday, June 9, 2017.  

We encourage proposals, wherever possible, to incorporate peer-informed and/or peer-led project designs.

Learn more about the EOI

Reports