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Occupy Vancouver Stockpiles Anti-OD Drug After Woman Dies

Nasally-administered Narcan is delivered to Occupy Vancouver, after a homeless woman dies in a second suspected heroin OD at the site in a week.

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Has Vancouver OD'd on Occupy? Photo via

By Will Herbst

11/08/11

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Supplies of the nasally-administered anti-opiate OD drug Narcan (naloxone) have been delivered to medical staff at Occupy Vancouver, after the death of a homeless woman there on Sunday from what's widely speculated to have been a heroin overdose. The 23-year-old's demise, right after another occupier suffered a non-fatal heroin OD on Thursday, threatens Occupy Vancouver's future. Amid numerous calls to shut down the site, Mayor Gregor Robertson spoke of "Obviously really really tragic circumstances—this loss of life and the overdose just a few days ago clearly demonstrate...that the situation here in camp has deteriorated. Life safety is paramount." He added, "I have directed the city manager to expedite the appropriate steps to end the encampment as soon as possible, with a safe resolution being absolutely critical to that.” Life safety may be paramount, but job safety probably also figures highly in Robertson's thoughts: the civic election slated for November 19 is shaping up like a referendum on his protest policies. Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that public support for Occupy Vancouver is waning fast: “There is a growing sense that the protesters have been given ample opportunity to make their point and are now overstaying their welcome on the popular public space they are occupying.” The paper also claims the site has now attracted a "rabble" of homeless youth, drawn by the free supplies on offer. But the protesters plan to stay and hope that their new supplies of Narcan will protect against damaging potential future ODs.

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