Drugs

Paramedics respond to a call as Vancouver city councillor Jean Swanson attends a march on International Overdose Awareness Day, in Vancouver, on August 31, 2021. In August 2022, the BC Coroner Service says 169 British Columbians died to the toxic drug supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

169 British Columbians killed from toxic drug supply in August: Coroner

Number a small decrease from 192 deaths in July

 

A month-long initiative by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in the Okanagan led to the seizure of illicit drugs, weapons, firearms, and cash while working to disrupt and lessen opportunities for gang violence (Brittany Webster - Capital News)

Estimated 29,000 lethal fentanyl doses taken off Okanagan streets

CFSEU-BC completed the initiative in partnership with RCMP detachments throughout the Okanagan

 

People hold banners during 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 in 2021. British Columbia’s chief coroner says at least 1,095 people died from suspected illicit drug overdoses from January to June in 2022, the highest death toll recorded in the first six months of a calendar year during the province’s overdose crisis. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
People hold banners during 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 in 2021. British Columbia’s chief coroner says at least 1,095 people died from suspected illicit drug overdoses from January to June in 2022, the highest death toll recorded in the first six months of a calendar year during the province’s overdose crisis. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Overdose Awareness Manitoba is asking people across Canada and beyond to draw attention to those lost to the toxic drug supply by displaying an empty purple chair. Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. (Overdose Awareness Manitoba/Twitter)

Why you may see purple chairs popping up on International Overdose Awareness Day

Empty purple chairs represent those lost to the toxic drug supply

Overdose Awareness Manitoba is asking people across Canada and beyond to draw attention to those lost to the toxic drug supply by displaying an empty purple chair. Aug. 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. (Overdose Awareness Manitoba/Twitter)
(Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

‘I don’t want to die’: Kelowna’s ‘tent city’ Mama calls for drug reform as 6 lives lost per day in B.C.

In all the years she has been an addict, Mama Kjaer has never seen anything like the toxic drug crisis

(Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)
Harish Sharma, owner of the Medicine Shoppe Pharamcy on Jacklin Road in Langford, said he was lucky to get a small supply of Wellbutrin XL in for his patients. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Shortage of common anti-depressant leaves Greater Victoria pharmacies scrambling

Langford pharmacist Harish Sharma recently saw limited supply sell out in hours

Harish Sharma, owner of the Medicine Shoppe Pharamcy on Jacklin Road in Langford, said he was lucky to get a small supply of Wellbutrin XL in for his patients. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
Carolyn Bennett rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 10, 2022. Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions says more doctors across the country should be willing to prescribe a safer supply of drugs instead of fearing they will be investigated by their regulatory colleges.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

More doctors across Canada should prescribe safer drugs to reduce overdoses: minister

Physicians who prescribe pharmaceutical-grade alternatives could better support patients: college

Carolyn Bennett rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 10, 2022. Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions says more doctors across the country should be willing to prescribe a safer supply of drugs instead of fearing they will be investigated by their regulatory colleges.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
British Columbia’s overdose Mobile Response Team has provided critical incident support and training to more than 6000 individuals who are working on the front lines combating the province’s overdose crisis. (Black Press files)

195 toxic drug deaths recorded in May, highest ever for that month in B.C.

The latest figure is a 13 per cent increase over the 172 deaths recorded in May 2021

British Columbia’s overdose Mobile Response Team has provided critical incident support and training to more than 6000 individuals who are working on the front lines combating the province’s overdose crisis. (Black Press files)
Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford (Abbotsford News file photo)

Over $280K in contraband seized at Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford

Package located on July 5 contained drugs, drug paraphernalia and ‘communication devices’

Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford (Abbotsford News file photo)
Shannon McKenney, shown in a handout photo, has been having severe migraines consecutively for about 1,500 days. Her story is one of several noted in an application submitted in court on behalf of more than 100 health-care professionals from across the country. They are challenging the federal minister of health’s decision to reject their applications to use restricted psychedelic drugs as part of training in psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Shannon McKenney **MANDATORY CREDIT**

More than 100 health-care professionals challenge rejection of psilocybin access

Health Canada did not immediately provide comment on the request for a judicial review

Shannon McKenney, shown in a handout photo, has been having severe migraines consecutively for about 1,500 days. Her story is one of several noted in an application submitted in court on behalf of more than 100 health-care professionals from across the country. They are challenging the federal minister of health’s decision to reject their applications to use restricted psychedelic drugs as part of training in psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Shannon McKenney **MANDATORY CREDIT**
Stonewall RCMP seized a drone at the Stony Mountain Institution July 3, that is believed to have been used to drop off drugs at the prison. (Courtesy Stonewall RCMP)

Metro Vancouver men charged after drone used to fly drugs into Manitoba prison

Dropped package contained methamphetamine and suspected fentanyl

Stonewall RCMP seized a drone at the Stony Mountain Institution July 3, that is believed to have been used to drop off drugs at the prison. (Courtesy Stonewall RCMP)
B.C. Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announced a $150 million settlement with Purdue Pharma Canada on June 29. (Jane Skrypnek/Black Press Media)

B.C.-led lawsuit against Purdue Pharma results in $150M settlement

Money to be distributed throughout Canada for health care costs incurred from opioid damage

B.C. Attorney General David Eby and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson announced a $150 million settlement with Purdue Pharma Canada on June 29. (Jane Skrypnek/Black Press Media)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)

Skeena MLA says decriminalization sends the wrong message

MLA for Skeena Ellis Ross wants a bigger conversation around the harm caused by illicit drugs

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett, back left, speaks as B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson listens during a news conference after British Columbia was granted an exemption to decriminalize possession of some illegal drugs for personal use, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. As drug users in British Columbia will not be arrested or charged for carrying up to 2.5 grams of illicit drugs starting next year, experts explain why the federal government is being asked to decriminalize drugs in order to stem deaths linked to the drug toxicity crisis in Canada, and what decriminalization means. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Experts explain why Ottawa is being asked to decriminalize small amounts of drugs

‘Criminal penalties for using some substances has spawned a range of unintended negative consequences’

Federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health Carolyn Bennett, back left, speaks as B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson listens during a news conference after British Columbia was granted an exemption to decriminalize possession of some illegal drugs for personal use, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. As drug users in British Columbia will not be arrested or charged for carrying up to 2.5 grams of illicit drugs starting next year, experts explain why the federal government is being asked to decriminalize drugs in order to stem deaths linked to the drug toxicity crisis in Canada, and what decriminalization means. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Prescription drugs are seen on shelves at a pharmacy in Montreal, Thursday, March 11, 2021. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says changes to the way Canada sets drug prices will lower drug spending by about seven per cent  over the long term. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Prescription drugs are seen on shelves at a pharmacy in Montreal, Thursday, March 11, 2021. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says changes to the way Canada sets drug prices will lower drug spending by about seven per cent  over the long term. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Taylor Bachrach stands up to speak in the Chamber during Question Period on 11 February, 2022. (Photo: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services)

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP disappointed HOC rejected bill addressing opioid crisis

Decriminalization is just one piece of the puzzle, Bachrach said

Taylor Bachrach stands up to speak in the Chamber during Question Period on 11 February, 2022. (Photo: Bernard Thibodeau, House of Commons Photo Services)
Advocates for decriminalization and safe supply of drugs stood outside Nelson’s city hall on April 14th. In the month of April, 161 British Columbians died from the toxic drug supply, according to the BC Coroners Service. (Bill Metcalfe/News Staff)

B.C. sees 161 people die to toxic drug crisis in April, amid calls for safer supply

April death rates highest in Northern Health and Vancouver Coastal Health

Advocates for decriminalization and safe supply of drugs stood outside Nelson’s city hall on April 14th. In the month of April, 161 British Columbians died from the toxic drug supply, according to the BC Coroners Service. (Bill Metcalfe/News Staff)
A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)

Take-home fentanyl tests could increase safer drug consumption in B.C.: study

2019 Vancouver study found 30% of participants made safer choices after using take-home test

A 2019 pilot program in Vancouver found take-home fentanyl tests have the potential to increase safer consumption of drugs. (Credit: Amy Romer/BC Centre on Substance Use)
From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)

B.C. safe consumption site marks five years of ‘truly saving lives’

SafePoint in Surrey has seen 300,000 visits from 3,533 people, with 2,845 drug poisonings reversed

From left: SafePoint’s Hyeth Manlosa, Ian Fraser, and Megan White. After five years in operation, SafePoint staff have reversed 2,845 drug poisonings, according to Fraser Health. (Photo submitted)