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B.C. emergency doctor worries of possible rise in opioid deaths due to COVID-19 (Dr. Daniel Kalla, SPH)

TORONTO — An emergency room doctor in Vancouver worries the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a resurgence in opioid overdoses.

Dr. Daniel Kalla, the head of emergency medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, said community measures and safe injection sites have been effective in flattening the opioid overdose curve locally over the past few years, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, he has personally seen a rise overdose numbers.

“The pandemic itself is driving people to use more drugs (and) to be more reckless in their use of drugs,” Kalla told NewsNight by CTV News, a new show on the mobile streaming app Quibi. “We were encouraging users to never use alone, because that’s when people die of opioid overdoses, but now some our substance users are afraid to use at … the safe injection sites or even with friends, so it sets them up for a deadly situation of using alone.”

Click here to read the full story on CTV News.

Similar stories can be found here: CBC News, Vancouver Sun and Business In Vancouver.

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