B.C. overdoses

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

 

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

 

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.

 

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)
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)

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)
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