Fentanyl overdose crisis
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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.

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.”

According to the most recent B.C. Coroner’s Service stats, there were 109 suspected drug overdose deaths in May—a decrease from 124 the month prior.

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.

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