Paramedics in B.C. responded to a record 130 suspected overdose calls last Friday, equalling a record-setting day in April 2017.
No fatalities were reported, according to BC Emergency Health Services.
Yesterday, July 27, 2018 BCEHS paramedics responded to 130 suspected overdose calls – the highest in 1 day, a number seen only once before in BC in April 2017. Thankfully all lives saved. Tell your families, tell your friends: Don’t Use Alone, and Call 911 if you suspect an OD.
— Emerg Health Services (@BC_EHS) July 28, 2018
The 130 calls came two days after income assistance was distributed. The B.C. Coroner’s Service says most fatal overdoses occur during the days after income assistance payment.
Linda Lupini, an BC Emergency Health Services executive vice-president, told CBC News that the service often sees an average of 50 calls on payment days, with a spike from 60 to 70 in the days afterwards, but 130 calls is “unusual.”
Island Health reminds anyone who uses drugs that they should always avoid using alone, and stagger their use when with a friend so that someone is able to respond if needed.
The health authority also recommends carrying a naloxone kit at all times. If someone you know suffers an overdose, call 911 immediately.