B.C. overdoses

People hold banners during a march to remember those who died during the overdose crisis and to call for a safe supply of illicit drugs on International Overdose Awareness Day, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. British Columbia’s chief coroner says at least 1,011 people died from suspected illicit drug overdoses from January to June, the highest death toll recorded in the first six months of a calendar year during the province’s overdose crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. sees record high 1,095 toxic drug deaths in first 6 months of 2022

At least 10,000 people have died of toxic drugs since the 2016 public health emergency declaration

 

British Columbia’s overdose Mobile Response Team has provided critical incident support and training to more than 6000 individuals who are working on the front lines combating the province’s overdose crisis. (Black Press files)

195 toxic drug deaths recorded in May, highest ever for that month in B.C.

The latest figure is a 13 per cent increase over the 172 deaths recorded in May 2021

 

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

 

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, B.C. in 2017. Currently, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health is seeking public input on the crisis. Deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Public input sought as committee examines B.C.’s toxic drug crisis

10-member committee includes NDP, Liberal and Green MLAs

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, B.C. in 2017. Currently, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health is seeking public input on the crisis. Deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. 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)
A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. The B.C. Coroners Service reported a record number of 175 overdose deaths related to illicit drugs in June. Approximately 5,000 people have died due to illicit-drug overdoses since a public health emergency was declared in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

EDITORIAL: Drug overdose deaths an ongoing problem in B.C.

Deaths from illicit drug use has been identified as a public health emergency since 2016

  • May 11, 2022
A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. The B.C. Coroners Service reported a record number of 175 overdose deaths related to illicit drugs in June. Approximately 5,000 people have died due to illicit-drug overdoses since a public health emergency was declared in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Members of the public walked through Vernon holding black balloons to raise awareness about overdoses and harm reduction on the sixth anniversary of B.C.’s declaration of the opioid crisis Thursday, April 14, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Black balloon walk in Vernon raises awareness about B.C.’s overdose crisis

Members of the public met to mark the sixth anniversary of the province’s opioid crisis Thursday

Members of the public walked through Vernon holding black balloons to raise awareness about overdoses and harm reduction on the sixth anniversary of B.C.’s declaration of the opioid crisis Thursday, April 14, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Overdose victims in B.C.’s Interior were remembered on Thursday, April 14, to mark the sixth anniversary of the province declaring an opioid crisis. (Logan Lockhart, Western News)

‘We need to see more change’: Overdose victims remembered at Penticton’s Elks Club

B.C. declared a public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis in 2016

Overdose victims in B.C.’s Interior were remembered on Thursday, April 14, to mark the sixth anniversary of the province declaring an opioid crisis. (Logan Lockhart, Western News)
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 person receives a tested supply of cocaine after gathering to remember those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

174 British Columbians – 6 under the age of 19 – died of toxic drug poisonings in February

That makes February the 17th consecutive month in which more than 150 lives were lost in B.C.

A person receives a tested supply of cocaine after gathering to remember those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
More people are turning to controlled substances in Lake Country as a result of stress, anxiety and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press file photo)

COVID anxiety, isolation contributing to substance use spike in Lake Country

Lake Country Health puts on free naloxone training as more people turn to substances as a pandemic coping mechanism

More people are turning to controlled substances in Lake Country as a result of stress, anxiety and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press file photo)
A sacred fire was held Sunday, Feb. 27 in Williams Lake to honour the lives of people who recently lost their lives. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Sacred fire lit after overdoses claim 3 lives over 4 days in Tsilhqot’in Nation

“It has been very hard on communities,” said Joyce Cooper of the Tsilhqot’in Women’s Council

A sacred fire was held Sunday, Feb. 27 in Williams Lake to honour the lives of people who recently lost their lives. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Penticton saw a record number of overdoses in 2021. (File photo)

2021 worst year for fatal overdoses in Penticton

Penticton saw more deaths per capita than Surrey due to drug overdoses

Penticton saw a record number of overdoses in 2021. (File photo)
Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)

Family reeling after little-known drug Kratom contributes to B.C. man’s fatal overdose

Aaron Manson, 26, died after overdosing in his room in Kamloops

Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)
Interior Health has issued a contaminated drug alert for light green chunks of down being sold in Penticton. (IH)

Drug alert issued for Penticton

‘Light green chunk’ being sold as down is contaminated with fentanyl

Interior Health has issued a contaminated drug alert for light green chunks of down being sold in Penticton. (IH)
Paramedics across B.C. and here in Penticton are attending one overdose a day on average in 2021 with no end in sight to the toxic drug supply. The opioid crisis has left B.C. paramedics struggling with mental health issues. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)

748 overdoses in 2021: Those on the frontlines of the crisis in Penticton speak out

The number of overdoses in 2021 is almost double that of 2020 in Penticton

Paramedics across B.C. and here in Penticton are attending one overdose a day on average in 2021 with no end in sight to the toxic drug supply. The opioid crisis has left B.C. paramedics struggling with mental health issues. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
A construction worker works on the roof line of apartments under construction in the 1600 block of E. Marine View Drive on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

B.C. pledges $1M for harm reduction to prevent overdose deaths among construction workers

Funding will expand Tailgate Toolkit program, which has already been operating on Vancouver Island

A construction worker works on the roof line of apartments under construction in the 1600 block of E. Marine View Drive on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Outreach Urban Health Center in Kelowna is available to help people struggling with addiction (Photo by BLACK PRESS)

Kelowna saw record-breaking overdose calls in 2021

The overdose crisis is fueled by social instability and a ‘dirty’ drug supply

The Outreach Urban Health Center in Kelowna is available to help people struggling with addiction (Photo by BLACK PRESS)
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
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