The opioid crisis continues.
First, Vancouver, now, Surrey.
Homeless Advocate Erin Schulte says she received a poster from Fraser Health alerting people of an increase in overdoses after using some type of substance.
— Emily Lazatin (@EmilyLazatin980) November 23, 2016
Schulte frequents the 135A street also known as ‘the strip’ often offering people food and clothing.
She says her ‘street family’ told her 10 people had overdosed and one had died.
“Just a lovely guy, they called him longshoreman and his name was Jesse. He was a lovely gentleman. At times people don’t realize there are some very respectful and very caring people that are living on the street.”
She says it’s a bad time to be overdosing.
“Everyone is out of sight, they are tents, in nooks and crannies to stay dry. In the summer time, they would be on the sidewalk, with lots of people around.”
Schulte says another pop-up injection site in Surrey would be helpful, like the one in Vancouver.
On Sunday, a spate of 14 overdoses hit Insite in the downtown east side and another seven at a pop-up injection site just blocks away.
In the last four days, Fraser Health says it’s recorded 39 overdoses, double than normal.
Province doing everything it can
Health Minister Terry Lake says the province is doing everything it can, and if anything, it’s waiting on the federal government.
“We want the federal government to immediately repeal Bill C-2 so we can get more safe consumption sites on the ground and save more lives, I don’t know how to make it any clearer.”
Lake says he supports pop up injection sites that have been set up in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.
When asked if the province would contribute money to run more.
“We are creating all kinds of opportunities for resources, the $5 million for the joint task force is going to create safe consumption sites around the province.”
He says if there was anything the province could do immediately, it would.