opioid 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

 

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

 

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

 

Naloxone kits are available for free at BC pharmacies (file photo)

Moms Stop the Harm Kelowna marking 6 years of the opioid crisis

2,224 British Columbians died from toxic drug overdose in 2021

  • Apr 14, 2022
Naloxone kits are available for free at BC pharmacies (file photo)
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)
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 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
A take-home test kit for drug users is seen here. Interior Health is warning about a potent mix of drugs circulating around its communities. Photo: Vancouver Coastal Health

Interior Health issues region-wide warning for dangerous drugs

The health authority says multiple communities have found drugs with high fentanyl concentrations

A take-home test kit for drug users is seen here. Interior Health is warning about a potent mix of drugs circulating around its communities. Photo: Vancouver Coastal Health
Penticton saw a record number of overdoses in 2021. (File photo)

Penticton fatal overdoses higher per capita in 2021 than Surrey

Penticton saw a record number of fatal overdoses in 2021

Penticton saw a record number of overdoses in 2021. (File photo)
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
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
Victoria residents take a brief moment to examine the flowers, stuffed animals and photos left in remembrance of 17-year-old Olivia Mahaney, who died of overdose at the corner of Wharf and Yates streets. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

‘She didn’t deserve this’: Teen’s death a reminder of overdose crisis facing B.C. youth

Problem compounded by COVID, leaving youth struggling with boredom and restricted access to services

Victoria residents take a brief moment to examine the flowers, stuffed animals and photos left in remembrance of 17-year-old Olivia Mahaney, who died of overdose at the corner of Wharf and Yates streets. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
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
Campbell River courthouse. Google maps

B.C. judge ignores precedent, rejects jail time for addict caught trafficking fentanyl

Distinguishes between street-level trafficker supporting an addiction and higher drug dealer

Campbell River courthouse. Google maps
Chris Lamoureux, who has struggled with substance abuse and robbed two banks in September 2019, is hoping to end the stigma of drug addiction. (Chris Bush/Black Press)

B.C. man who struggled with substance use, crime seeks to end drug addiction stigma

Chris Lamoureux about to begin studying to be peer support worker

Chris Lamoureux, who has struggled with substance abuse and robbed two banks in September 2019, is hoping to end the stigma of drug addiction. (Chris Bush/Black Press)
NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson speaks with the media about her private members bill regarding abandoned vessels, in Ottawa on Thursday, November 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

MALCOLMSON: B.C. expects feds to ‘make our application a priority’ on drug decriminalization

B.C. is the first province to offer a safer supply program

  • Nov 29, 2021
NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson speaks with the media about her private members bill regarding abandoned vessels, in Ottawa on Thursday, November 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
From January until the end of September 2021, a total of 1,534 overdose deaths were recorded in British Columbia. (Black Press file photo)

EDITORIAL: A health emergency continues to rage

Illicit drug overdose deaths are a serious problem throughout British Columbia

  • Nov 24, 2021
From January until the end of September 2021, a total of 1,534 overdose deaths were recorded in British Columbia. (Black Press file photo)
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett at a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Minister Bennett says national opioid crisis plan to be informed by proposals in B.C.

‘We have an obligation to listen to the people who are actually doing this work, and then respond’

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett at a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Paramedics respond to a call as Vancouver city councillor Jean Swanson attends 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

B.C. applies to decriminalize personal possession of illicit drugs amid opioid crisis

Since 2016, the province has lost 7,700 people to toxic drug poisonings

Paramedics respond to a call as Vancouver city councillor Jean Swanson attends 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