With files from Jon Meyer
A medical health officer is telling City Hall this hour that overdose deaths are not on the rise within the City of Vancouver.
Doctor Patricia Daly with Vancouver Coastal Health is attributing the levelling off to increased access to Naloxone.
Daly says while Vancouver is home to the most overdose deaths in the province this year at 78, other cities are seeing their death rates increase.
Jan-July 2016 78 overdose deaths in Vancouver, 42 Surrey, 10 Victoria, but Vancouver death rate stagnant while other cities seeing increase
— Shelby Thom (@ShelbyThom980) September 21, 2016
Daly says health officials are increasing access to naloxone, applying to open four new supervised injection sites, expanding the hours at Insite, and doctors are substituting methadone for suboxone as treatment for drug addiction.
Vancouver Coastal Health has revealed the two locations proposed for supervised injection sites.
“One is at Heatly Community Health Centre which is the new name for Strathcona Mental Health Centre in the Downtown Eastside, the other is a new mental health and addictions drop-in centre that will be operated by Lookout under contract by Vancouver Coastal Health, it is in the Downtown Eastside as well.”
Dr.Patricia Daly says the applications to the federal government will be submitted next month.
They could open as early as 2017.
A mom’s plea for help
For a mom who lost her oldest son to a fentanyl overdose the answer, in part, is more rehab centres.
“You can’t overcome a fentanyl addiction by outpatient counselling once or twice a week with some group therapy, there has to be comprehensive counselling and medical attention, it needs an in-house medical treatment program in order to save lives”
Michelle Jensen was able to put her son into a private treatment centre but he overdosed.
Her youngest son’s girlfriend also died of a very public overdose in a Starbucks bathroom in Port Moody.
Jensen says there is only a handful of good treatment facility’s for juvenile’s in BC.
She wants politicians to do more and to provide more access to suboxone.
“In terms of doctors being able to subscribe suboxone, which will help with the cravings and the drive to get the drugs, all doctors ought to be able to subscribe suboxone and it should be made available free for the people who can’t afford to pay for it.”
Jensen says there’s no 1-800 number to call if you’re a parent and your child is hooked.
“It’s a disease, just like cancer, we don’t turn away people for treatment for cancer, this is exactly the same thing.”
She was speaking to Simi Sara on CKNW.