opioid crisis

Signs pinned up by Moms Stop the Harm members outside Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel, where Canada’s premiers were meeting on July 12. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Overdoses, healthcare crises spur Victoria protests at premiers’ meeting

Groups gathered outside the Fairmont Empress in side-by-side calls for action

 

B.C. Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announced a $150 million settlement with Purdue Pharma Canada on June 29. (Jane Skrypnek/Black Press Media)

B.C.-led lawsuit against Purdue Pharma results in $150M settlement

Money to be distributed throughout Canada for health care costs incurred from opioid damage

 

Advocates for decriminalization and safe supply of drugs stood outside Nelson’s city hall on April 14th. In the month of April, 161 British Columbians died from the toxic drug supply, according to the BC Coroners Service. (Bill Metcalfe/News Staff)

B.C. sees 161 people die to toxic drug crisis in April, amid calls for safer supply

April death rates highest in Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal Health

 

A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)

Take-home fentanyl tests could increase safer drug consumption in B.C.: study

2019 Vancouver study found 30% of participants made safer choices after using take-home test

A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)
From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)

B.C. safe consumption site marks five years of ‘truly saving lives’

SafePoint in Surrey has seen 300,000 visits from 3,533 people, with 2,845 drug poisonings reversed

From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)
Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied

B.C. MP vows to keep fighting, despite toxic drug crisis bill rejection

Courtenay-Alberni MP’s Bill C-216 aimed to legislate health-based approach to substance use

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied
A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

For decriminalization to save lives, users need to be allowed to carry more drugs: B.C. advocates

Health Canada nearly halved requested personal possession amount in approval May 31

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. approved to decriminalize possession of small amounts of street drugs as deaths soar

Personal possession of up to 2.5 grams to be allowed for three years beginning Jan. 31, 2023

Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A University of British Columbia researcher says it’s unclear what the cause of the majority of B.C.’s deaths during 18-months of the pandemic is. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. saw more deaths than expected over 18 months, but research can’t pinpoint why

Only 22 per cent of excess deaths during research period are directly attributed to COVID-19

A University of British Columbia researcher says it’s unclear what the cause of the majority of B.C.’s deaths during 18-months of the pandemic is. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users president Lorna Bird says her dog Joy can tell when someone is overdosing. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Overdose detecting dogs save lives, lift spirits in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

When someone overdoses at VANDU, pups Guess and Joy are quick to alert the nearest human

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users president Lorna Bird says her dog Joy can tell when someone is overdosing. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver in 2020. In March 2022, 165 people died of toxic drug poisoning in B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

More than 5 British Columbians died a day from toxic drug poisoning in March

165 people died in total, down from 174 in February and 207 in January

People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver in 2020. In March 2022, 165 people died of toxic drug poisoning in B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Interior Health centres will be displaying black balloons Tursday, April 14, in memory of all the lives lost to an overdose. (Contributed)

‘A sombre anniversary’: black balloons honour Interior Health’s overdose victims

All are invited to display balloons Thursday to mark the sixth anniversary of the declaration of B.C.’s opioid crisis

Interior Health centres will be displaying black balloons Tursday, April 14, in memory of all the lives lost to an overdose. (Contributed)
A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. Checking illicit drugs for potentially deadly toxins is the best option to prevent fatal overdose in the absence of a safer supply, but that service should be expanded to rural and remote communities in British Columbia, says the manager of a drug-checking program being evaluated by the BC Centre for Substance Use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Scale up B.C. drug-checking programs to save lives: centre on substance use

Jenny Matthews said drug users who live in non-urban areas often can’t get their drugs tested for contaminants

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. Checking illicit drugs for potentially deadly toxins is the best option to prevent fatal overdose in the absence of a safer supply, but that service should be expanded to rural and remote communities in British Columbia, says the manager of a drug-checking program being evaluated by the BC Centre for Substance Use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A take-home test kit for drug users is seen here. Interior Health is warning about a potent mix of drugs circulating around its communities. Photo: Vancouver Coastal Health

Interior Health issues region-wide warning for dangerous drugs

The health authority says multiple communities have found drugs with high fentanyl concentrations

A take-home test kit for drug users is seen here. Interior Health is warning about a potent mix of drugs circulating around its communities. Photo: Vancouver Coastal Health
The Nelson Police Department. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

UPDATED: Six overdoses over 24 hours in Nelson

All six people were successfully revived, but police fear more will occur

The Nelson Police Department. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Tools of the trade: Crushed painkiller pills with open bottle, aluminum foil, spoon, lighter and syringe. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

SCARED STRAIGHT: Overdose episode turns B.C. man’s life around

‘Usually, you just go to sleep… wake up later and you’re fine. But this night I wasn’t.’

Tools of the trade: Crushed painkiller pills with open bottle, aluminum foil, spoon, lighter and syringe. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Paramedic Specialists Brian Twaites and David Hilder of B.C. Ambulance debrief after responding to a drug overdose in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Over the past several years the drug overdoses not only across British Columbia but throughout Canada have but grown. On June, 23, 2021 for instance B.C. Ambulance paramedics responded to 140 overdose calls across the province with 42 of those being just in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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

Calls have nearly tripled since 2015, BCEHS says

Paramedic Specialists Brian Twaites and David Hilder of B.C. Ambulance debrief after responding to a drug overdose in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Over the past several years the drug overdoses not only across British Columbia but throughout Canada have but grown. On June, 23, 2021 for instance B.C. Ambulance paramedics responded to 140 overdose calls across the province with 42 of those being just in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Stacity Bailie is shown in this undated handout photo. Stacity had been awaiting approval to enter a drug rehabilitation program when she died of an overdose on Oct. 22. She hadn't been using illicit opioids for long, said her father, Gary Bailie, but the 27-year-old struggled with an alcohol addiction for more than a decade. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Gary Bailie

Indigenous people far more likely to die from opioid overdose: experts

Indigenous people in B.C. are 5 times more likely to overdose and 3 times more likely to die

Stacity Bailie is shown in this undated handout photo. Stacity had been awaiting approval to enter a drug rehabilitation program when she died of an overdose on Oct. 22. She hadn't been using illicit opioids for long, said her father, Gary Bailie, but the 27-year-old struggled with an alcohol addiction for more than a decade. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Gary Bailie
Victoria residents take a brief moment to examine the flowers, stuffed animals and photos left in remembrance of 17-year-old Olivia Mahaney, who died of overdose at the corner of Wharf and Yates streets. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

‘She didn’t deserve this’: Teen’s death a reminder of overdose crisis facing B.C. youth

Problem compounded by COVID, leaving youth struggling with boredom and restricted access to services

Victoria residents take a brief moment to examine the flowers, stuffed animals and photos left in remembrance of 17-year-old Olivia Mahaney, who died of overdose at the corner of Wharf and Yates streets. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
FILE – A naloxone anti-overdose kit is shown in Vancouver, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
FILE – A naloxone anti-overdose kit is shown in Vancouver, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward