New Statistics released by the BC Coroners Service show an huge increase in the number of illicit drug overdose deaths in the province. Between January and October of this year, 622 overdose deaths occurred in BC. Over half were Fentanyl related.
In the north, 22 Fentanyl-detected overdose deaths have occurred in that same time period. Of those, 10 were in Prince George. That is almost double the amount of Fentanyl-detected overdose deaths in our city last year.
Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of opiates. Since Tuesday, every fire truck in Prince George carries the medication. The Prince George Fire Rescue Service will be keeping track of its administration of Naloxone.
Fire Chief John Iverson says “We can perform a life-saving intervention immediately. It’s something that is critical for the health and well-being of that person.”
Naloxone has been available without prescription at many pharmacies since the spring. “Right after the initial legislation change with the College of Pharmacist BC, we did notice an increase, ” says Pharmacist at Third Avenue Pharmacy, Brett Chiasson. “Mostly just to facilities though, we don’t really see any individuals coming in to pick up Naloxone.”
A possible explanation could simply be the price. “It’s fairly inexpensive, but a lot of people that would need it don’t have the money for it.”
Today, Premier Christy Clark met with Federal Health and Public Safety Ministers in Ottawa to discuss the spike in overdose deaths related to the use of drugs, like Fentanyl.