B.C. overdoses

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

 

Vancouver Island University developed technology, HarmCheck utilizes a technology known as high-throughput paper spray mass spectrometry to provide rapid and accurate drug testing. (Vancouver Island University photo)

New device that tests drugs in minutes boosted by province amid B.C.’s overdose crisis

HarmCheck can provide accurate results in one to two minutes using only a small sample size

 

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)
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

160 people fatally overdosed in May in B.C. as drug toxicity keeps rising

60% of tests in May were positive for benzodiazepines, which cause challenges for first responders

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
FILE – An organizer displays a naloxone kit that people can pick up for free as International Overdose Awareness Day training seminar takes place at Centennial Square in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday August 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Safer drug supply crucial as B.C.’s naloxone program lauded: advocates

More than one million naloxone kits have been shipped out to 1,860 sites around B.C.

FILE – An organizer displays a naloxone kit that people can pick up for free as International Overdose Awareness Day training seminar takes place at Centennial Square in Victoria, B.C., on Saturday August 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
British Columbia on track to record more than 2,000 deaths this year due to an ongoing supply of toxic drugs. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Toxic drug crisis disproportionately killing B.C.’s First Nations people

First Nations Health Authority reports First Nations people killed at more than five times B.C. rate

British Columbia on track to record more than 2,000 deaths this year due to an ongoing supply of toxic drugs. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Jodi Higgs (right) holds a vial of naloxone and Christine Christensen holds a kit in the parking lot of the Pacific Community Resources Society in Chilliwack on Thursday, May 20, 2021. The society is offering a number of upcoming events, workshops and videos to help educate friends and family members who have loved ones that are drug users. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Educating family, friends key to helping ‘hidden’ population of substance users

Naloxone training one of many ways to help folks closest to unseen population of opioid users

Jodi Higgs (right) holds a vial of naloxone and Christine Christensen holds a kit in the parking lot of the Pacific Community Resources Society in Chilliwack on Thursday, May 20, 2021. The society is offering a number of upcoming events, workshops and videos to help educate friends and family members who have loved ones that are drug users. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Drug users were shut out of Vancouver’s decriminalization proposal, critics say, demanding redo

The coalition is asking the city to raise the proposed drug thresholds from a 3-day supply

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
A woman, left, prepares to inject herself with an unknown substance as a man sits in a wheelchair outside Insite, the supervised consumption site, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. street drugs poisoned with benzos could lead to ‘catastrophic’ overdoses: advocate

Public Safety Ministry says drugs containing benzodiazepines were detected in 51% of deaths in February

A woman, left, prepares to inject herself with an unknown substance as a man sits in a wheelchair outside Insite, the supervised consumption site, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)

B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A woman holds up a sign bearing a photograph of Morgan Goodridge during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. The B.C. Coroners Service reported a record number of 175 overdose deaths related to illicit drugs in June. Approximately 5,000 people have died due to illicit-drug overdoses since a public health emergency was declared in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Former health officials, advocates reflect on anniversary of B.C.’s overdose emergency

The year of the pandemic saw record-high overdose deaths

A woman holds up a sign bearing a photograph of Morgan Goodridge during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. The B.C. Coroners Service reported a record number of 175 overdose deaths related to illicit drugs in June. Approximately 5,000 people have died due to illicit-drug overdoses since a public health emergency was declared in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks during a press conference in Vancouver on July 4, 2019. The City of Vancouver is providing funding for a now-permanent position to lead an initiative aimed at supporting people who have survived overdoses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver funds permanent position to lead overdose response team

Vancouver Fire Capt. Gormick has been appointed to oversee the combined overdose response team

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks during a press conference in Vancouver on July 4, 2019. The City of Vancouver is providing funding for a now-permanent position to lead an initiative aimed at supporting people who have survived overdoses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A woman holds up a sign bearing a photograph of Morgan Goodridge during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

155 overdose deaths in B.C. marks deadliest February on record

The pandemic has led to increased isolation and a more toxic drug supply

A woman holds up a sign bearing a photograph of Morgan Goodridge during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Lifeguard app is designed to help people using drugs get help if they overdose. (Black Press Media files)

‘Lifeguard’ app saves overdosing B.C. man’s life, twice

Phone app gives people who use drugs a ‘chance of survival,’ said BCEHS director Neil Lilley

The Lifeguard app is designed to help people using drugs get help if they overdose. (Black Press Media files)
The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)

Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Federal government provides $15 million for safer drug pilot programs in B.C.

Some addiction doctors have criticized the lack of safer drugs for those experiencing entrenched addiction

Needles are seen on the ground in Oppenheimer park in Vancouver’s downtown eastside on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Refrigerated morgue truck deployed in Fraser Health: BC Coroners Service

B.C. is dealing with two public health crises

Medical personnel wear personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wheel a patient into St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver Monday, November 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward