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Paramedics dealing increased overdose calls in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Paramedics in Vancouver are dealing with a rising number of drug overdose calls.

Numbers provided to News1130 from the BC Ambulance Service show 550 people in Vancouver reported drug overdoses last year, up from 369 back in 2009.

Jane Buxton with the BC Centre for Disease Control says boosting the availability of the overdose antidote naloxone could help save lives.

“It acts on the brain to push off the opioids to restore the breathing, so people will start to breathe again normally,” Buxton says. “There’s a lot of evidence that shows it can be very effectively used by people who use opioids and by their family and friends.”

As a whole, BC had 2,011 calls in 2013, which is the lowest number in four years.