Ambulance incident at the corner of Apsley St. and Lakelse Ave. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

Ambulance incident at the corner of Apsley St. and Lakelse Ave. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

Overdose calls in Terrace increased again last year

Terrace saw the second most calls in Northern Health last year

Overdose calls to B.C. ambulances increased again in 2021, with Terrace seeing a jump of almost 25 per cent compared to 2020.

There were 259 overdose calls to Terrace ambulances in 2021 compared to 2020, when there were 208. There were 98 overdose calls in 2019, according to data released recently by BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS).

Other than Prince George (1,305 calls), Terrace recorded the most overdose calls last year in the Northern Health Authority, dwarfing the number seen in other northwest communities.

There were 71 overdose calls in Prince Rupert, 42 in Smithers, 33 in Kitimat, 23 in Thornhill, 21 in Houston and 18 in Burns Lake.

Across the province, paramedics responded to a record 35,525 overdose calls last year, up 31 per cent compared to 2020. That works out to 97 calls per day.

Every health authority in the province saw an increase in overdose calls with the highest in Fraser Health. Vancouver Coastal health saw calls increase by 24 per cent to 11,204, Fraser Health saw calls increase by 45 per cent to 10,573, Island Health saw calls increase by 32 per cent to 5,917, Interior Health saw calls increase by 29 per cent to 5,417 and Northern Health saw calls increase by 16 per cent to 2,414.

The province recorded 1,782 overdose deaths due to illicit drugs in the first 10 months of 2021. Data for November and December are not yet available but death toll reported in just the first 10 months of last year already breaks the record set in 2020 by 17 deaths.

—With files from Katya Slepian

READ MORE: B.C. paramedics receive record number of overdose calls in 2021, up 31% since 2020