overdose crisis

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

 

Moms Stop the Harm advocates and supporters gather at Centennial Square on the sixth anniversary to mark the public health emergency of the declaration due to the significant increase in opioid-related overdose across the province during the Cut The Red Tape theme in Victoria, Thursday, April 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Pandemic impacted quality of illicit drugs and ‘contaminants’ in B.C., new study shows

A new study surveyed 738 people who use drugs and found 272 people reported worsening drug quality

 

A reenactment by B.C. Emergency Health Services shows paramedics attending an overdose. The City of Victoria is asking the provincial and federal governments to take more action to help prevent toxic drug deaths. (Courtesy of BCEHS)

City of Victoria marks opioid emergency anniversary with call for more action

Mayor Lisa Helps asks province, feds to give people ‘a chance for recovery’

 

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson speaks during a press conference in the press gallery at the Legislature in Victoria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. In the absence of a national policy on personal drug possession, some Canadian jurisdictions have submitted requests for exemptions from criminal penalties for those who carry small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Jurisdictions looking to decriminalize small amounts of drugs to curb overdose deaths

Canadian cities, provinces say decriminalization would help reduce stigma associated with drug use

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson speaks during a press conference in the press gallery at the Legislature in Victoria, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. In the absence of a national policy on personal drug possession, some Canadian jurisdictions have submitted requests for exemptions from criminal penalties for those who carry small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
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

Safe-supply pilot project findings promising, but advocates say more action is needed

The programs are small and have very limited capacity to prescribe a safe supply of drugs

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
A handheld device showing the loading screen for the Alberta Digital Overdose Response System mobile application is shown alongside a pair of Narcan nasal injectors in a photo illustration in Toronto, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giordano Ciampini

‘Maddening, heartbreaking’: Alberta records deadliest year for drug overdoses in 2021

Most fatal overdoses are linked to opioids and took place in Calgary and Edmonton

A handheld device showing the loading screen for the Alberta Digital Overdose Response System mobile application is shown alongside a pair of Narcan nasal injectors in a photo illustration in Toronto, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giordano Ciampini
Ray Corbiere holds a picture of his son Joshua Corbiere in Edmonton on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. A father’s hope turned to pain in less than 24 hours after his son entered a residential drug treatment facility and fatally overdosed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

‘Death trap’: Front-line workers warn of drug overdoses rising on and off the streets

Drug overdose deaths in Alberta hit record highs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ray Corbiere holds a picture of his son Joshua Corbiere in Edmonton on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. A father’s hope turned to pain in less than 24 hours after his son entered a residential drug treatment facility and fatally overdosed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Lisa Marie Barron and NDP mental health and addictions critic Gord Johns visit the temporary emergency shelter at Caledonia Park on Friday, March 11. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Island MPs trying to get across ‘sense of urgency’ around decriminalization bill

NDP mental health and addictions critic holds consultation in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Lisa Marie Barron and NDP mental health and addictions critic Gord Johns visit the temporary emergency shelter at Caledonia Park on Friday, March 11. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett at a news conference after the federal cabinet was sworn in, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Scrap thresholds in requests to decriminalize simple drug possession: coalition

To date, British Columbia, Toronto and Vancouver have asked Ottawa for section 56 exemption request

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett at a news conference after the federal cabinet was sworn in, in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

6 people died per day from B.C.’s toxic drug supply last year

B.C. recorded 2,224 fatalities due to illicit drug overdoses in 2021

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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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
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 debrief after responding to a drug overdose. Over the past several years the drug overdoses not only across British Columbia but throughout Canada have grown. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press)

Sooke sets new record for drug overdose calls

Every health region in B.C. saw an increase in overdose calls during 2021

Paramedic specialists Brian Twaites and David Hilder debrief after responding to a drug overdose. Over the past several years the drug overdoses not only across British Columbia but throughout Canada have grown. (Jonathan Hayward - The Canadian Press)
Oona Krieg, chief operating officer of Brave Technology Co-op, poses for a photograph in Vancouver on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Almost three dozen people survived overdoses because of a Canada-wide phone line that connects callers who use drugs with emergency support if there is a suspected overdose. Looking back on a year in service, data from the National Overdose Response Service, or NORS, shows all 33 potentially life-threatening events were successfully responded to. Followup calls confirmed all overdoses were reversed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Connection during isolation: Data shows national drug overdose hotline saves lives

The national line is one of many solutions to try to curb drug overdoses

Oona Krieg, chief operating officer of Brave Technology Co-op, poses for a photograph in Vancouver on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Almost three dozen people survived overdoses because of a Canada-wide phone line that connects callers who use drugs with emergency support if there is a suspected overdose. Looking back on a year in service, data from the National Overdose Response Service, or NORS, shows all 33 potentially life-threatening events were successfully responded to. Followup calls confirmed all overdoses were reversed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A woman walks past a person using a glass pipe to smoke drugs in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on International Overdose Awareness Day on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Researchers in British Columbia say the expansion of overdose prevention sites in Vancouver led to immediate behaviour changes among some drug users as they entered addiction treatment, decreased the number of times they injected substances in public and shared syringes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

UBC study says more overdose prevention sites could mean fewer overdose deaths

Researchers says existing sites having positive influence on drug users’ behaviour

A woman walks past a person using a glass pipe to smoke drugs in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on International Overdose Awareness Day on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Researchers in British Columbia say the expansion of overdose prevention sites in Vancouver led to immediate behaviour changes among some drug users as they entered addiction treatment, decreased the number of times they injected substances in public and shared syringes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Yukon provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Yukon’s illicit overdose death toll now highest in Canada: coroner

Opioid fatalities now represent over 20 per cent of all deaths investigated by Yukon’s coroner

The Yukon provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Island Health recommends drug users carry naloxone. (News Bulletin file photo)

Overdose advisory issued in Nanaimo

Island Health recommends drug users take precautions such as accessing overdose prevention site

Island Health recommends drug users carry naloxone. (News Bulletin file photo)
Fred Cameron stands among the harm reduction supplies that are handed out by SOLID Outreach to those living on Pandora Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

New drugs, COVID measures feeding record-breaking Victoria overdose pace: expert

Pandemic measures make it harder for some to access services

Fred Cameron stands among the harm reduction supplies that are handed out by SOLID Outreach to those living on Pandora Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Nikik Lucas holds up a picture of her son Dustin, who died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2016. Lucas, who is part of Moms Stop The Harm, stands near the commercial plaza in Sidney where she works. The site also features memorials to two other sons of Sidney residents. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney mother mourning the overdose death of her son calls for more government action

Niki Lucas will remember her son Dustin during International Overdose Awareness Day

Nikik Lucas holds up a picture of her son Dustin, who died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2016. Lucas, who is part of Moms Stop The Harm, stands near the commercial plaza in Sidney where she works. The site also features memorials to two other sons of Sidney residents. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)