Mayor Gregor Robertson takes B.C. government to task for not committing to halting fentanyl crisis

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      The city has reported an uptick in the number of overdoses in the week of June 12.

      There were five deaths, up from four in the previous week, as well as an 18 percent rise in the number of overdose-response calls from Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

      "In the 14 months since being declared a public health emergency, the B.C. government has failed to make a clear commitment to halt the fentanyl crisis and save hundreds of people from preventable drug overdose deaths," Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a city news release. "Four British Columbians die every day from overdoses, yet the crisis barely warranted a mention in yesterday's throne speech. We need a provincial government with a bold, tenacious approach and the courage to dramatically improve prevention, education and addictions treatment, with dedicated resources into opioid substitution therapy, treatment on demand, and other essential services for everyone who needs it, when they need it."

      At this pace, the city will have more than 430 overdose deaths by the end of this year. And there's a suggestion that there is more carfentinal in town, which spells bad news for addicts. That's because carfentanil has around 100 times the toxicity of fentanyl. 

      "LifeLabs is also reporting this week a 21 percent carfentanil positivity rate in patient urine samples containing fentanyl," the city stated. "This is a significant increase from the six to eight percent recorded in February and March and presents an extreme risk to the public."