City of Surrey partners with StatsCan to undertake new study on opioid use

The partnership with Statistics Canada aims to gather data from various agencies and develop new programs and interventions for overdose prevention tailored to Surrey's needs.

'We need some evidence based data for the long-term solution,' says Mayor Linda Hepner

The study will use data from the coroner's service, Fraser Health and Surrey's police and fire agencies. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The City of Surrey and Statistics Canada are undertaking a new study to gather more detailed data about opioid use in the city.

The city said results will be used to create new tailored policies for harm reduction and overdose prevention.

Statistics Canada will be looking at info like patient characteristics, whether they use inside homes or outdoors, as well as specific places in Surrey where overdoses happen.

"We can have a deeper understanding of who the people are," said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.

"Our partnership with StatsCan is going to allow that kind of data that simply doesn't exist at the local level."

New interventions based on data

Hepner said the project will use data gathered from the B.C. Coroners Service, Surrey RCMP, Fraser Health and the Surrey Fire Service, among others.

She said the city is prepared to provide funding for new resources when results from the analysis are complete.

"We need some evidence based data for the long-term solution," she said.

Hepner said she expects the results and analysis will be made public in early 2018.