B.C. overdoses

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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
Participants are encouraged to light a candle and watch the streamed event from home as speakers honor the lives of those lost to overdose from Gyro Bandshell in Penticton April 14, 2021. (Facebook photo)

Vigil for 5th anniversary of B.C. overdose crisis to be held in Penticton

To honor the lives lost to the overdose crisis and bring a call of action to policymakers

Participants are encouraged to light a candle and watch the streamed event from home as speakers honor the lives of those lost to overdose from Gyro Bandshell in Penticton April 14, 2021. (Facebook photo)
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 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)
Interior Health issued a new warning about a “black tar-like” substance containing both fentanyl and benzodiazepines Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Interior Health photo)

Dangerous drugs in Penticton prompt new alert from Interior Health

The drug, containing fentanyl and benzodiazepines, poses a high risk of overdose

Interior Health issued a new warning about a “black tar-like” substance containing both fentanyl and benzodiazepines Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (Interior Health photo)
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)
A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)

Overdose and suicide support group starts in Penticton

Penticton was one of the province’s communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis in 2020

A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)
Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)

Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
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
Pink fentanyl has been found in street drugs in Vernon. (Interior Health photo)

Two drug alerts issued in North Okanagan

Pink fentanyl and purple down discovered, both may not be responsive to Naloxone

Pink fentanyl has been found in street drugs in Vernon. (Interior Health photo)
Interior Health issued a toxic drug alert in Penticton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (File Photo)

Dangerous drug alert issued in Penticton

Interior Health is warning of a bright purple substance containing fentanyl and benzodiazepines

Interior Health issued a toxic drug alert in Penticton Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (File Photo)
Penticton paramedics took about 70 per cent more calls for drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, Interior Health representatives told Penticton council Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Jesse Day - Western News)

Penticton overdose calls see drastic increase in 2020

Overdose deaths, however, are down in the city

Penticton paramedics took about 70 per cent more calls for drug overdoses in 2020 compared to 2019, Interior Health representatives told Penticton council Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Jesse Day - Western News)