B.C. overdoses

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Our View: The other epidemic in B.C. has claimed too many lives

New measures beyond simple enforcement have to change the playing field

  • Feb 22, 2021
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Federal government provides $15 million for safer drug pilot programs in B.C.

Some addiction doctors have criticized the lack of safer drugs for those experiencing entrenched addiction

Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Refrigerated morgue truck deployed in Fraser Health: BC Coroners Service

B.C. is dealing with two public health crises

Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; B.C. drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
FILE – An organizer displays a naloxone kit that people can pick up for free as International Overdose Awareness Day training seminar takes place at Centennial Square in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday August 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Fatal overdoses continue to spike in B.C. as July sees 175 illicit drug deaths

B.C. hits grim milestone of more than 900 deaths in first seven months of 2020

FILE – An organizer displays a naloxone kit that people can pick up for free as International Overdose Awareness Day training seminar takes place at Centennial Square in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday August 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘He needs to be home’: B.C. man buried in an unmarked grave without his family’s consent

‘He needs to be home’: B.C. man buried in an unmarked grave without his family’s consent

Tyler Whaley’s family weren’t notified after he died of an overdose in July

‘He needs to be home’: B.C. man buried in an unmarked grave without his family’s consent
A naloxone kit . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Vancouver Island police have advice for drug users

RCMP officers often the frontline of overdose prevention

A naloxone kit . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
August is National Drug Drop-Off month and is hoping to raise awareness about the potential for drug abuse from youth who are housebound during the pandemic. (Photo by Olga DeLawrence on Unsplash)

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

August is National Drug Drop-Off month and is hoping to raise awareness about the potential for drug abuse from youth who are housebound during the pandemic. (Photo by Olga DeLawrence on Unsplash)
Correne Antrobus rallies at the Ministry of Health building in Victoria on Friday, July 31 to draw attention to the ongoing overdose crisis. 2020 (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Rally at Ministry of Health calls attention to deadliest month of overdoses

For second consecutive month, province records highest number of overdose deaths

Correne Antrobus rallies at the Ministry of Health building in Victoria on Friday, July 31 to draw attention to the ongoing overdose crisis. 2020 (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
During the first six months of 2020, more than 700 people have died from a drug overdose across the province. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Vancouver Island advocates call for drug decriminalization as overdoses climb,

‘If the numbers were reversed … there would be outrage’

During the first six months of 2020, more than 700 people have died from a drug overdose across the province. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. Indigenous and civil liberties groups say the British Columbia government failed to consult them before proposing legislation that would force youth under 19 to stay in hospital after an overdose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Proposed B.C. legislation to detain youth who overdose could harm them: doctor

Minister Judy Darcy has said the proposed changes could help ensure the immediate safety of young people

Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. Indigenous and civil liberties groups say the British Columbia government failed to consult them before proposing legislation that would force youth under 19 to stay in hospital after an overdose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier John Horgan (The Canadian Press)

B.C. premier asks Trudeau to decriminalize illicit drug possession as deaths climb

A record 175 people died in June of illicit-drug overdoses

Premier John Horgan (The Canadian Press)
On June 26, B.C. paramedics responded to the most number of overdoses ever recorded on a single day. (BC Emergency Health Services/Twitter)

B.C. paramedics respond to largest number of overdoses in a single day

131 overdoses recorded by BC Emergency Health Services on June 26

On June 26, B.C. paramedics responded to the most number of overdoses ever recorded on a single day. (BC Emergency Health Services/Twitter)
Elliot Eurchuk in an undated family photo. (The Canadian Press)

Mom of teen who fatally overdosed says B.C. needs treatment beds, not just involuntary holds

Rachel Staples’s 15-year-old son Elliot Eurchuk died in April 2018

Elliot Eurchuk in an undated family photo. (The Canadian Press)
The Lifeguard app is designed to help people using illicit drugs get help if they overdose. (Black Press Media files)

‘Lifeguard’ app launches as a made-in-B.C. solution to help prevent overdose deaths

B.C. recorded record-breaking number of fatal overdoses in May

The Lifeguard app is designed to help people using illicit drugs get help if they overdose. (Black Press Media files)
The inside of a naloxone kit. B.C. saw the most overdose deaths in one month in May, with fatal overdoses in the Island Health region surpassing its highest number by 36 per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)

COVID-19 contributes to spike in overdose deaths, experts say

‘Unintended consequences’ of pandemic, stronger drug supply play role in fatal overdoses

The inside of a naloxone kit. B.C. saw the most overdose deaths in one month in May, with fatal overdoses in the Island Health region surpassing its highest number by 36 per cent. (Black Press Media file photo)
Michael Stone, a renowned teacher of yoga and Buddhism, died in 2017 of fentanyl poisoning. (Change.org)

Wife of Victoria yogi who overdosed asks Dr. Bonnie Henry to announce overdose deaths

Carina Stone lost her husband Michael in 2017 to fentanyl poisoning

Michael Stone, a renowned teacher of yoga and Buddhism, died in 2017 of fentanyl poisoning. (Change.org)
Police, paramedics and bystanders helped save two overdose victims on Duncan Street on June 7. (Photo submitted)
Police, paramedics and bystanders helped save two overdose victims on Duncan Street on June 7. (Photo submitted)
BC Centre for Disease Control naloxone kit (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

BC Centre for Disease Control naloxone kit (Darryl Dick/The Canadian Press)