Vancouver's supervised-injection site sees unusually high number of overdoses

Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site
Insite, Vancouver's supervised injection site in a 2007 file photo. Photo by Richard Lam/The Canadian Press.

Workers at Vancouver's supervised-injection site have been faced with a higher-than-normal number of drug overdoses this week.

A spokeswoman with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority says it's unclear why Insite saw 14 overdoses on Tuesday.

Carrie Stefanson says no one died.

She says the number of overdoses is double the six to seven that are the norm on the day social assistance cheques are distributed.

So-called welfare Wednesday came a day early this week, with cheques going out on Tuesday.

Insite has launched a six-month pilot program that will see the facility remain open around the clock from Wednesday to Friday once a month when welfare payments go out, which it says is associated with a spike in drug activity.

British Columbia's chief medical officer declared a state of emergency earlier this year following an increase in drug overdose deaths, many of which were linked to the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

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