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

 

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

 

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
The Nelson Police Department. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

UPDATED: Six overdoses over 24 hours in Nelson

All six people were successfully revived, but police fear more will occur

The Nelson Police Department. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
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
Nelson city council has agreed to support the Nelson Fentanyl Task Force. File photo

Nelson council provides support letter to fentanyl task force

The support will help the group apply for funding

  • Jan 5, 2022
Nelson city council has agreed to support the Nelson Fentanyl Task Force. File photo
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
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
Naloxone. (File)

184 people died of illicit drug overdoses in July in B.C.’s 2nd deadliest month on record

July has brought the death toll for the year to 1,204 deaths

Naloxone. (File)
This photo shows a Narcan nasal device. (AP File Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Horgan promises B.C. will fund naloxone kits for police

Pledge comes in the wake of revelation funding and supplies had dried up in multiple locations

This photo shows a Narcan nasal device. (AP File Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Police departments no longer receive funding for naloxone kits. (Courtesy Oak Bay Police Department)

Province cuts funding for police naloxone kits amid B.C. opioid pandemic

Three Greater Victoria departments say their funding has dried up, unclear if other forces affected

Police departments no longer receive funding for naloxone kits. (Courtesy Oak Bay Police Department)