Drug overdoses in Vancouver claimed the lives of 41 people during the month of April.
That number makes last month the second deadliest for overdose deaths this year, with an estimated 141 overdose deaths reported since the beginning of the year.
In total, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services reported 688 overdose calls in April – the highest month on record for 2017 and an increase of 22% from March.
“The overdose crisis got dramatically worse last week with one of the highest overdose and death tolls in our history, and devastating impact on hundreds of Vancouver families,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.
In fact, on Wednesday, April 26 alone, first responders were called to a record-setting total of 130 overdose calls.
This crisis, Robertson furthered, “is BC’s most tragic public health emergency in decades, and yet urgent health care interventions that could immediately save lives are not being facilitated.”
In a nod to the provincial election on May 9, the mayor said BC’s next government “needs to immediately take action on the overdose death crisis because the current government’s approach is not working.”