Health minister coming to Surrey to talk opioid crisis

Health minister coming to Surrey to talk opioid crisis

Jane Philpott will visit the Surrey Youth Resource Centre in Newton on April 10 to 'highlight investments to combat the opioid crisis.'

NEWTON – Minister of Health Jane Philpott will be in Surrey on April 10 to talk about the province’s overdose epidemic.

According to a release, Philpott will “highlight investments to combat the opioid crisis and to implement the new Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy following a roundtable discussion with youth and support staff of the Surrey Youth Resource Centre,” in Newton.

READ: Overdoses claim 102 lives in B.C. in February

The federal government has committed $35 million over five years to help with the overdose epidemic. That’s in addition to the $65 million announced in February.

In all, 916 people in B.C. died of overdose in 2016, and 108 of those were in Surrey.

As of the end of February this year, another 219 people have died, 23 of those in Surrey (see below).

 

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a release that while she’s relieved to see numbers haven’t continued to increase in January and February of this year, “we are still losing cherished members of our communities at a terrible rate.

“People are dying in far higher numbers than we’ve ever seen, and a slight decrease in fatalities from the previous month should not be seen as any indication that the risk has decreased.”

READ: Wearable overdose detector prototype could combat opioid death crisis

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

-With files from Ashley Wadhwani