B.C. overdoses

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

B.C. sees record high 1,095 toxic drug deaths in first 6 months of 2022

At least 10,000 people have died of toxic drugs since the 2016 public health emergency declaration

 

British Columbia’s overdose Mobile Response Team has provided critical incident support and training to more than 6000 individuals who are working on the front lines combating the province’s overdose crisis. (Black Press files)

195 toxic drug deaths recorded in May, highest ever for that month in B.C.

The latest figure is a 13 per cent increase over the 172 deaths recorded in May 2021

 

Signs pinned up by Moms Stop the Harm members outside Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel, where Canada’s premiers were meeting on July 12. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Overdoses, healthcare crises spur Victoria protests at premiers’ meeting

Groups gathered outside the Fairmont Empress in side-by-side calls for action

 

Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C. in 2017. Currently, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health is seeking public input on the crisis. Deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Public input sought as committee examines B.C.’s toxic drug crisis

10-member committee includes NDP, Liberal and Green MLAs

Dean Anderson holds up a sign before a march on the first National Day of Action to draw attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, B.C. in 2017. Currently, B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Health is seeking public input on the crisis. Deadline to submit is Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users president Lorna Bird says her dog Joy can tell when someone is overdosing. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Paramedics across B.C. and here in Penticton are attending one overdose a day on average in 2021 with no end in sight to the toxic drug supply. The opioid crisis has left B.C. paramedics struggling with mental health issues. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)

Paramedics threatened while providing life-saving measures in Penticton

Paramedics were providing care to an unconscious person at the homeless shelter

Paramedics across B.C. and here in Penticton are attending one overdose a day on average in 2021 with no end in sight to the toxic drug supply. The opioid crisis has left B.C. paramedics struggling with mental health issues. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
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)
A person receives a tested supply of cocaine after gathering to remember those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

174 British Columbians – 6 under the age of 19 – died of toxic drug poisonings in February

That makes February the 17th consecutive month in which more than 150 lives were lost in B.C.

A person receives a tested supply of cocaine after gathering to remember those who died from a suspected illicit drug overdose, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
File photo shows the contents of a drug overdose rescue kit at a training session on how to administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Carolyn Thompson

Tl’azt’en First Nation issues alert after 3 overdoses in 1 day

Residents are advised there are dangerous drugs in the area and to use with extra caution

File photo shows the contents of a drug overdose rescue kit at a training session on how to administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Carolyn Thompson
A sacred fire was held Sunday, Feb. 27 in Williams Lake to honour the lives of people who recently lost their lives. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Sacred fire lit after overdoses claim 3 lives over 4 days in Tsilhqot’in Nation

“It has been very hard on communities,” said Joyce Cooper of the Tsilhqot’in Women’s Council

A sacred fire was held Sunday, Feb. 27 in Williams Lake to honour the lives of people who recently lost their lives. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)
Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)
Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)

Family reeling after little-known drug Kratom contributes to B.C. man’s fatal overdose

Aaron Manson, 26, died after overdosing in his room in Kamloops

Levi Manson holds a photo of his late brother, Aaron, joined by mom Troylana and dad Bart. This photo was taken in September 2021 at Prince Charles Park in downtown Kamloops. (Michael Potestio/KTW/LJI)
A construction worker works on the roof line of apartments under construction in the 1600 block of E. Marine View Drive on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

B.C. pledges $1M for harm reduction to prevent overdose deaths among construction workers

Funding will expand Tailgate Toolkit program, which has already been operating on Vancouver Island

A construction worker works on the roof line of apartments under construction in the 1600 block of E. Marine View Drive on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
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
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
A used naloxone kit is seen on the sidewalk as paramedics from B.C. Ambulance respond 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

Illicit drug deaths hit grim record high in the first 9 months of 2021: BC Coroners Service

Coroners service said that the death rate from illicit drug overdoses has risen to 39.4 per 100,000 residents

A used naloxone kit is seen on the sidewalk as paramedics from B.C. Ambulance respond 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
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)
A paramedic from B.C. Ambulance prepares a large dose of Naloxone as they respond 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
A paramedic from B.C. Ambulance prepares a large dose of Naloxone as they respond 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
Moms Stop the Harm have tied ribbons around lamp posts with pictures of loved ones who have died from drug overdoses. The ribbons are both a memorial and call for action. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Purple ribbons put spotlight on opioid crisis grief, as B.C. families plead for more support

Lack of support is driving deaths, because people waiting for help turn to toxic supply

Moms Stop the Harm have tied ribbons around lamp posts with pictures of loved ones who have died from drug overdoses. The ribbons are both a memorial and call for action. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
A protester gathers containers depicting OxyContin prescription pill bottles. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

Returning unused prescriptions to B.C. pharmacies could help prevent overdoses

New HPSA survey shows 1 in 3 Canadians do not know how to safely dispose of old, unused medications

A protester gathers containers depicting OxyContin prescription pill bottles. (AP/Patrick Semansky)