Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. Toxic illicit drugs have claimed the lives of 498 British Columbians in the first three months of 2021, said the BC Coroners Service. (BCEHS photo)

Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. Toxic illicit drugs have claimed the lives of 498 British Columbians in the first three months of 2021, said the BC Coroners Service. (BCEHS photo)

Increase in overdose cases a concern: Fort St. James RCMP

Police issue public health announcement

Fort St. James RCMP are concerned about the number of overdose cases in the northern community and made a public health announcement, May 11.

Officers said they have seen a recent increase in the number of calls for potential overdoses in the community and surrounding areas north of Vanderhoof.

“Police and BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) have responded to numerous overdoses, most notably attending two calls for service in one day at the same house sadly resulting in one death,” North District RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said in the Tuesday news release.

According to the BC Coroners Service, a toxic illicit drug supply continues to show no sign of letting up its unprecedented rate of death.

Read More: B.C. nears 500 fatal overdoses in 1st quarter of 2021; 158 deaths in March

Read More: Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Latest figures show 158 British Columbians lost their lives in March, raising the total number of deaths for 2021 to nearly 500.

In a news release, Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said problematic substance use is widespread throughout B.C. and evidence-based strategies such as supervised consumption and drug-checking services, prescription alternatives and accessible and meaningful treatment and recovery options are essential to reduce the death and suffering.

Fort St. James RCMP advises users not to take drugs alone, be careful with how much they use, always to have a Narcan kit and to be aware and watch out for one another if they are a user or family of a user.

“It is important that if you or someone you witness may be overdosing to please call 9-1-1 immediately,” Saunderson said.

Anyone with information related to the trafficking of toxic illicit drugs is asked to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers.


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