Delta emergency services called to 9 overdoses in 20 minutes

Sep 1 2016, 6:19 pm

Firefighters in Delta are issuing a warning after a string of overdoses last night.

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This comes as police and health care officials become increasingly concerned about the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

Acting Sgt. Sarah Swallow says there were nine overdoses recorded.

“The overnight Staff Sgt. called it one of the most intense twenty-minutes of his career that he’s seen recently.”

Swallow says there were three calls, all quite close to one another, in South Delta.

She’s grateful no lives were lost.

“If there was no Narcan, if we didn’t have the incredible response, we would potentially be looking at nine deaths this morning. The concern for us as well is that this is just the start of a wave.”

Swallow says officials will have to test the drugs to see if fentanyl was present.

She notes the use of Narcan, which reverses opiate effects; opiates are not usually found in cocaine.

More than 430 people have died of drug overdoses so far this year. Year on year, that’s a 74 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Between January and June, fentanyl was detected in approximately 2/3 of the overdose deaths.

Back in April, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall, declared drug overdoses a public health emergency in B.C.

He said that if overdoses continue at this rate, the total overdose deaths for 2016 could exceed 700 or even 800.

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