opioid crisis

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)
letter to the editor

LETTER: Bill C-216 would help save lives lost to drug poisoning crisis

My grandson, Derek, died alone in his apartment from fentanyl drug poisoning…

  • Apr 14, 2022
letter to the editor
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)
UVic social work professor Bruce Wallace and chemistry prof Dennis Hore, project leaders for the Substance drug-checking project, stand in front of their storefront location on Cook street. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

Changes in illicit drug supply offer challenges for Victoria researchers

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

UVic social work professor Bruce Wallace and chemistry prof Dennis Hore, project leaders for the Substance drug-checking project, stand in front of their storefront location on Cook street. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
Premier John Horgan makes a point during question period in the B.C. legislature last month. He vowed March 9 to see an all-party committee created to research and recommend opioid policy solutions. (Hansard TV)

Victoria harm reduction expert worries Horgan’s opioid committee goal may fall short

SOLID Outreach staffer says all-party committee must ensure continuity between governments

Premier John Horgan makes a point during question period in the B.C. legislature last month. He vowed March 9 to see an all-party committee created to research and recommend opioid policy solutions. (Hansard TV)
Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni and the NDP Critic for Mental Health and Addictions (centre), was in the Cowichan Valley on March 10 as the first stop in a national tour to gain support for his private members bill, Bill C-216, that calls on the government to do more to deal with the growing drug crisis. Pictured with Johns is Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford (left) and business owner Will Arnold. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Duncan the 1st stop on Island MP’s drug crisis tour

Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni, introduces bill to decriminalize drugs

Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni and the NDP Critic for Mental Health and Addictions (centre), was in the Cowichan Valley on March 10 as the first stop in a national tour to gain support for his private members bill, Bill C-216, that calls on the government to do more to deal with the growing drug crisis. Pictured with Johns is Alistair MacGregor, MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford (left) and business owner Will Arnold. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Campbell River will be taking part in this year’s Black Balloon Day on March 6, commemorating the 26 people who died due to toxic drugs in Campbell River, as well as the thousands who have died around the province. (file photo)

Black Balloon day commemorates those lost to Vancouver Island’s toxic drug crisis

On March 6, black balloons will be displayed by people from across…

Campbell River will be taking part in this year’s Black Balloon Day on March 6, commemorating the 26 people who died due to toxic drugs in Campbell River, as well as the thousands who have died around the province. (file photo)
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
This year was the most deadly year in B.C.’s ongoing opioid crisis. On August 31, The Campbell River Community Action Team and other groups hosted an International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) event where people could learn to save a life by administering Naloxone. Photo by Marc Kitteringham / Campbell River Mirror

26 toxic drug deaths: 26 parents, 26 cousins, 26 coworkers, 26 friends

The human toll of Campbell River’s toxic drug crisis

This year was the most deadly year in B.C.’s ongoing opioid crisis. On August 31, The Campbell River Community Action Team and other groups hosted an International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) event where people could learn to save a life by administering Naloxone. Photo by Marc Kitteringham / Campbell River Mirror
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 toxity 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
Municipal firefighters are trained and licensed to administer an enhanced level of emergency medical care to patients, including in the event of attending an overdose call. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke mayor worries for firefighters in opioid crisis, despite low call numbers

‘Our firefighters are put into many tragic circumstances,’ says Maja Tait

Municipal firefighters are trained and licensed to administer an enhanced level of emergency medical care to patients, including in the event of attending an overdose call. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
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
Tools of the trade: Crushed painkiller pills with open bottle, aluminum foil, spoon, lighter and syringe. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

SCARED STRAIGHT: Overdose episode turns a Courtenay man’s life around

Editor’s note: The names of the family members in this article have…

Tools of the trade: Crushed painkiller pills with open bottle, aluminum foil, spoon, lighter and syringe. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Ryan Hedican passed away in April of 2017. Photo submitted

Courtenay 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
According to BC Emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 1,952 overdose calls within the municipal boundaries of Victoria in 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)

Per capita number of overdose calls in Victoria greater than Vancouver

Call volume continues to rise around Greater Victoria and Island as B.C. death toll climbs

According to BC Emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 1,952 overdose calls within the municipal boundaries of Victoria in 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overdose calls continue to spike throughout the province. (BCEHS photo illustration)

Parksville sees 43 per cent spike in overdose calls in 2021

BC Emergency Health Services report indicates 108 per cent increase since reporting started in 2016

Overdose calls continue to spike throughout the province. (BCEHS photo illustration)
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