B.C. first responders see record number of suspected overdoses Wednesday

The spike in overdose-related calls coincides with ‘Welfare Wednesday’, officials say

Front-line workers responded to 130 suspected overdoses in the province Wednesday – currently the most overdose calls in a single day.

B.C. Emergency Health Services says that includes 52 suspected overdoses in Vancouver, 38 in the Fraser Valley, and 18 each on Vancouver Island and the Interior.

Wednesday was the monthly distribution of social assistance cheques, commonly known as Welfare Wednesday.

In response to the common spikes in calls around this time each month, BC EHS increases staffing on “cheque days” across the province but especially in cities like Surrey and Vancouver where overdoses are more frequent, said spokesperson Alyshia Higgins.

RELATED: Parties try to get a grip on B.C.’s overdose deaths

Wednesday’s increase in calls breaks the previous record of 121 calls back on November.


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