With the recent spike in overdoses linked to fentanyl-laced crack cocaine in Surrey, officials there are worried about Welfare Wednesday, the day government assistance cheques are paid out.
It’s led Fraser Health to put together an action plan linking Surrey Memorial Hospital, first responders, and social service agencies.
Shayne Williams with the Lookout Aid Society says they’re staffing extra front line nurses armed with Naloxone on Wednesday.
“If we’re seeing as many overdoses as we’re projecting, it may be difficult for any one organization and a couple of nurses to handle the volume of people that could potentially overdose.”
Earlier this month, Surrey saw 36 overdoses in a 48-hour period.
Williams says the hope is that tainted batch of drugs has left the streets.
Meanwhile, the City of Surrey is grappling with how to address the drug crisis on its streets.
Fraser Health is pushing the City to open a supervised consumption site, a move the Mayor has resisted.
Surrey Councillor Bruce Hayne says the key is to create an integrated response.
“Any efforts at harm reduction are a good thing, but they have to be coupled and they have to be attached to so many other services and so many other strategies in order to tackle this problem. It’s not simply a matter of harm reduction.”
Council met with Fraser Health on Monday to discuss the crisis, but Hayne says because it was confidential, he cannot share what was covered.