opioid crisis

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied

B.C. MP vows to keep fighting, despite toxic drug crisis bill rejection

Courtenay-Alberni MP’s Bill C-216 aimed to legislate health-based approach to substance use

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, the NDP’s critic for mental health and harm reduction, is pictured in Ottawa with members of the Mom’s Stop the Harm advocacy group. Photo supplied
A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

For decriminalization to save lives, users need to be allowed to carry more drugs: B.C. advocates

Health Canada nearly halved requested personal possession amount in approval May 31

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on August 15, 2020. Advocates say Health Canada’s announcement to decriminalize personal possession of 2.5 grams will do little to save people’s lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Moms stop the Harm create a mandala in Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park on the sixth anniversary of the overdose public health emergency. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Decriminalization of drugs not going far enough say Maple Ridge groups

Promote safe supply as best answer to overdose deaths

Moms stop the Harm create a mandala in Maple Ridge’s Memorial Peace Park on the sixth anniversary of the overdose public health emergency. (Neil Corbett/The News)
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, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. approved to decriminalize possession of small amounts of street drugs as deaths soar

Personal possession of up to 2.5 grams to be allowed for three years beginning Jan. 31, 2023

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, on February 21, 2017. Beginning Jan. 31 2023, adults in B.C. will be allowed to carry up to 2.5 grams of drugs for personal use, Health Canada announced May 31, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
A University of British Columbia researcher says it’s unclear what the cause of the majority of B.C.’s deaths during 18-months of the pandemic is. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. saw more deaths than expected over 18 months, but research can’t pinpoint why

Only 22 per cent of excess deaths during research period are directly attributed to COVID-19

A University of British Columbia researcher says it’s unclear what the cause of the majority of B.C.’s deaths during 18-months of the pandemic is. 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)
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

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
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
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
A commercial truck headed through a flooded section of 208th Street near 102B Avenue north of Walnut Grove on in early December. Rain had stopped but multiple roads were still closed or partly flooded. (Langley Advance Times files)

Our View: Resilience for our communities should be 2022 goal

From local to national, we need to be prepared for the next crisis

  • Dec 31, 2021
A commercial truck headed through a flooded section of 208th Street near 102B Avenue north of Walnut Grove on in early December. Rain had stopped but multiple roads were still closed or partly flooded. (Langley Advance Times files)
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
B.C. chief coroner Lisa Lapointe provides an update on illicit drug toxicity deaths in the province during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Langley records near-record numbers of toxic drug deaths

Powerful opioids in a toxic drug supply continue to claim lives

B.C. chief coroner Lisa Lapointe provides an update on illicit drug toxicity deaths in the province during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
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
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