EDITORIAL: Opioid crisis continues in B.C.

The impact of the opioid crisis can be seen with disturbing clarity on any day.

But while that evidence elicits a mixture of anger, empathy and, above all, frustration, it’s failed to stop the carnage.

Overdose deaths continue to climb across B.C.

Despite the declaration of a health emergency a year ago, the number of people dying from drug overdoses increased 50 per cent in the first quarter of this year. On average, four people a day are dying in B.C.

But those deaths are only part of the story. For every overdose, there are thousands of people whose lives are at risk because of their addiction.

The reasons for this crisis are complex. But one factor that fails to get sufficient attention is the availability of opioids.

We are simply awash with narcotics that have been manufactured for commercial use. They are not made in clandestine drug labs, smuggled from the jungles of Central America, or brought from the plains of Afghanistan. They are made right here in North America, or imported from other manufacturers overseas.

Their intent is to ease pain in those who are suffering. However, their availability is out of control.

The federal government recently attempted to address that issue by creating a special panel tasked with developing new guidelines for physicians prescribing opioids.

But that effort hit a snag when it was discovered one member of that panel had financial ties with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Canada. Health Minister Jane Philpott has since ordered an independent scientific review of those guidelines.

In the meantime, first responders continue to deal with this over-saturation of opioids – made even worse by the taint of fentanyl.

— Black Press

Just Posted

North Okanagan indigenous student award winners

Scholarship program rewards 457 students across province

Local donations lift college trades facility

George Galbraith and Kal Tire each donate $250,000 to new Okanagan College trades training centre

RCMP seek missing man

Blake Doyle was last seen Dec. 2

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

SilverStar shines

Vernon’s mountain resort lights up for Christmas

Fans litter ice with teddy bears for charity

Annul Vernon Vipers Teddy Bear Toss B.C. Hockey League game

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Writing her way to recovery

Shuswap author finds healing and well-being by writing

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

North Westside director travels

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board has agreed to Wayne Carson attending conferences

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Most Read