B.C. overdoses

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)

Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

 

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.

 

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

 

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)
A man potentially suffering an overdose lays unconscious outside a Penticton convenience store April 30, 2021 as bystanders call for help. (Jesse Day - Western News)

Penticton records most overdoses in the Okanagan on same day B.C. breaks daily record

There have been 279 overdose calls in Penticton so far in 2021

A man potentially suffering an overdose lays unconscious outside a Penticton convenience store April 30, 2021 as bystanders call for help. (Jesse Day - Western News)
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)
Interior Health issued warning April 18, 2021 of crack cocaine in Penticton that looks similar to the substance above containing fentanyl. (Interior Health photo)

Interior Health warns of fentanyl contaminated crack-cocaine in Penticton

There have been recent reports of overdose associated with the use of this substance

Interior Health issued warning April 18, 2021 of crack cocaine in Penticton that looks similar to the substance above containing fentanyl. (Interior Health photo)
Grieving mothers, addicts and recovering addicts spoke during a vigil in Penticton on the fifth anniversary of B.C.’s overdose crisis April 14, 2021. (Brennan Phillips/Western News)

Grieving Okanagan mothers, drug users, recovering addicts share stories about B.C.’s overdose crisis

Those affected say ‘archaic’ drug policies caused thousands of preventable deaths 5 years into overdose crisis

Grieving mothers, addicts and recovering addicts spoke during a vigil in Penticton on the fifth anniversary of B.C.’s overdose crisis April 14, 2021. (Brennan Phillips/Western News)
Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)

Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
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
Interior Health issued a drug alert for Penticton March 31, 2021 warning of the pictured substance above which is methamphetamine containing fentanyl. (Interior Health photo)

Interior Health issues new drug alert for Penticton, warning of fentanyl in meth

There have been several overdoses per day recently in the city

Interior Health issued a drug alert for Penticton March 31, 2021 warning of the pictured substance above which is methamphetamine containing fentanyl. (Interior Health photo)
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)
Naloxone, pictured above, may not be effective against overdoses caused by the drugs currently circulating in Interior Health. (Jenna Hauck - file)

Dangerous drug alert issued for entire Interior Health region

The drugs contain benzodiazepines which are not affected by naloxone

Naloxone, pictured above, may not be effective against overdoses caused by the drugs currently circulating in Interior Health. (Jenna Hauck - file)
The District of Lake Country saw its number of overdose calls double in 2020 over the previous year. (Black Press file photo)

Overdose calls doubled in Lake Country in 2020: report

The district’s protective services annual report shows there were 47 overdose calls last year

The District of Lake Country saw its number of overdose calls double in 2020 over the previous year. (Black Press file photo)
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)