January 12, 2017 3:49 am
Updated: January 13, 2017 7:13 pm

Almost 800 overdose calls in December makes record month for Vancouver

First responders tend to an overdose victim in Vancouver's Downtown East Side.

Sarah Blyth / Twitter

The latest figures from Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services show December as another record month for overdose calls.

According to spokesperson Jonathan Gormick, fire crews responded to 778 overdose calls last month, up from 735 in November.

But the real number is likely higher, said Gormick. The figure doesn’t represent calls that came in as “unconscious person” or “fainting” but ended up being overdoses.

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December’s number was 43 higher than November and marked the most number of overdose calls per month since Vancouver Fire began counting the data in January.

Monthly calls in January 2016 were counted at only 261, growing up to 303 in June and 510 by October.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) reports that between Jan. 1 and Dec. 24, 2016, there were 6,797 overdoses presented at VCH emergency departments.

While data for the year has not yet been released, BC Coroners Service says there were 755 fatal overdoses between January and Nov. 30, marking a 70 per cent increased over the same period in 2015.

Fentanyl was detected in 60 per cent of those.

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