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Surrey Drug Crisis Nearly Equal To Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Fentanyl Awareness Campaign Launched In Vancouver Nightclubs

Health officials in Surrey recorded a whopping 43 drug overdoses this past weekend, with 20 coming within 24 hours.

The high number is alarming for local residents as well as the Fraser Health Authority, who is pointing their fingers to crack cocaine laced with fentanyl, a deadly drug that has recently made it’s way to the west coast.

In 2016 alone, there has been 371 overdose deaths in British Columbia between January 1 to June 30, a 75 per cent increase from the same period in 2015. Among the 371 deaths, 127 were in the Fraser Valley.

The dramatically increasing numbers have led public health officials to call for a supervised drug site in Surrey, similar to Insite in Vancouver that opened doors 13 years ago and has received support from celebrities including Russell Brand.

Since launching, Insite has successfully introduced addiction services to drug users and has played a strong role in saving lives.

In an interview with CTV, Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C’s Chief Medical Officer, pointed out that Surrey’s drug crisis now rivals Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“They have fewer services than the Downtown Eastside has, so this means their problems in some respects are a lot worse,” Kendall told CTV. “They have more people who are less connected to health services and they have nothing like a supervised consumption site.”

The Fraser Health Authority is reportedly actively searching for potential consumption service sites in the lower mainland, but has yet to receive support from Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner who has indicated there may be other options worth exploring.

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