Paramedics work to revive someone from an apparent drug overdose on Yale Road near the Chilliwack Law Courts in 2017. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress File)

RCMP and hospital staff warn of bad batch of illicit drugs on Chilliwack streets

CGH sees 'significant increase' in serious overdoses on what is known as 'Welfare Wednesday'

‘Welfare Wednesday’ is not going well in Chilliwack as health officials report a “significant increase” in the number of overdose patients coming in to the ER.

Chilliwack RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Mike Sargent alerted The Progress of the issue as reported by staff at Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH).

“They are not sure what quite exactly the drug is but there is a noticeable uptick in overdoses and pretty serious in nature,” Sargent said before 4 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 25).

By that time, CGH had reported nine overdoses.

Of particular concern to medical staff is that Narcan (naloxone) has not been as effective as it should be on whatever drug the users are overdosing on.

“There is a tainted batch of illicit drugs out there and people should be cautious with whatever they decide to use,” Sargent said.

The concerns with this batch of drugs and the overdoses comes on the last Wednesday of August, known as “Welfare Wednesday”, the day social assistance cheques are issued.

It’s a well-documented issue that illicit drug overdose numbers spike on Welfare Wednesday and the days that follow.

READ MORE: B.C. first responders see record number of suspected overdoses Wednesday

READ MORE: Should B.C. nix ‘Welfare Wednesday’ and stagger income assistance cheques?

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Chilliwack Progress