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

Gord Johns 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
Representatives from the Port Alberni Shelter Society speak to local business owners during an opioid dialogue event at RimRock Casino in Port Alberni on April 21. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

No easy solution to opioid crisis fallout in Alberni Valley

Business owners, Port Alberni Shelter Society talk public washrooms

Representatives from the Port Alberni Shelter Society speak to local business owners during an opioid dialogue event at RimRock Casino in Port Alberni on April 21. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council leaders are demanding immediate action in response to toxic drug deaths. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council demands action on overdose crisis

New addiction clinic and detox centre needed in Nuu-chah-nulth territory, says president

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council leaders are demanding immediate action in response to toxic drug deaths. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
University of Victoria chemistry professor Dennis Hore, co-leader of the Substance drug checking project, stands beside equipment that performs the vital work of determining a drug sample’s precise ingredients. The machines are expensive, but the team is working to develop lower-cost versions for distribution elsewhere. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

Changes in illicit drug supply offer challenges for Vancouver Island researchers

Its storefront open a year, UVic’s Substance project looks to scale up services

University of Victoria chemistry professor Dennis Hore, co-leader of the Substance drug checking project, stands beside equipment that performs the vital work of determining a drug sample’s precise ingredients. The machines are expensive, but the team is working to develop lower-cost versions for distribution elsewhere. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
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
From left, Frances Wilson, Bree Farnum and Ron Merk leave messages in chalk outside of Port Alberni City Hall for International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Overdose deaths still on the rise in Alberni-Clayoquot region

Number of drug toxicity deaths nearly doubled in 2021

From left, Frances Wilson, Bree Farnum and Ron Merk leave messages in chalk outside of Port Alberni City Hall for International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, 2021. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Blaney with staff from the Community Resource Centre in Powell River promoting the CARE (Compassionate Access to Resources for Everyone) Cupboard outside their Overdose Prevention Centre. Photo supplied by Rachel Blaney

Island MP introduces federal bill to decriminalize drug possession for personal use

Island MPs ask government to decriminalize possession, make treatment more accessible in new bill

Blaney with staff from the Community Resource Centre in Powell River promoting the CARE (Compassionate Access to Resources for Everyone) Cupboard outside their Overdose Prevention Centre. Photo supplied by Rachel Blaney
Ryan Hedican passed away in April of 2017. Photo submitted

Island family still fighting for changes, 5 years after son’s fentanyl poisoning death

‘Zero urgency’ from policymakers to declare federal public health emergency

Ryan Hedican passed away in April of 2017. Photo submitted
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