A local panel speaks about the fentanyl overdose crisis in November. Photo: Tyler Harper

2017’s top stories No. 9: Fentanyl crisis tackled locally

Several public events were held at preventing overdose deaths

Nelson organizations met the overdose crisis head-on during a year in which fentanyl claimed a record amount of lives in B.C.

As of November, 10 people had died of overdoses related to fentanyl in the Kootenay Boundary. Just four died of the drug in 2016.

Provincially, 914 people had died from January to September, which shattered last year’s 666 fentanyl-related deaths over 12 months. Even that number was a major increase over the 152 fatalities in 2015.

“It certainly does scare me,” Nelson Police Chief Paul Burkart told the Star in January. “We see the numbers across the province and across Canada, and it’s here. It’s caused overdoses, it’s caused deaths and it needs to be dealt with.”

In an effort to get ahead of the crisis, the Nelson Fentanyl Task Force was created in January. It includes representatives from city council, law enforcement, health providers, educators and social service organizations.

The task force held its first meeting in February, and has since held several public discussions. The latest event earlier this month brought Dr. Mark Tyndall, a provincial expert on the crisis, in to speak to a crowd of about 100 at the Prestige Lakeside Resort.

Meanwhile, other organizations did their part.

The Nelson Street Outreach team carry naloxone kits while walking downtown, and Chloe Sage of ANKORS said a drug checking initiative found nine samples of fentanyl at August’s Shambhala Music Festival.

“If we’re not talking about this, we have our heads in the sand,” said ANKORS executive director Cheryl Dowden.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Nelson climbers raise racism awareness with video

Tula and Tosh Sherkat and Rossland director Liam Barnes collaborated on the video

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Sexologist likens face mask debate to condom debate: What can we learn from it?

Society’s approach to condom usage since the 1980s can be applied to face masks today, one expert says

Most Read