This factsheet is updated monthly with current information on the overdose crisis in B.C., including provincial actions, statistics and announcements.
New since the Aug. 2, 2018, coroner’s update:
- Sept. 27: The BC Coroners Service released updated statistics on illegal drug overdose deaths: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/birth-adoption-death-marriage-and-divorce/deaths/coroners-service/statistical/illicit-drug.pdf
- Sept. 25: More than 200 practitioners have completed training to prescribe opioid agonist treatments through the BC Centre on Substance Use since July 2017. Of those who have completed the training, 47 are nurse practitioners who have been able to prescribe these medications since February 2018: http://www.bccsu.ca/provincial-opioid-addiction-treatment-support-program/
- Sept. 25: The BC Centre on Substance Use’s online addiction medicine diploma program – a free, online certificate course providing addiction medicine training for substance-use disorders – has had a more than 10,000 registrants since the course launched in May 2017: http://www.bccsu.ca/about-the-online-addiction-medicine-diploma/
- Sept. 25: Since launching in July 2017, more than 2,100 prescribers have enrolled in BC Centre on Substance Use’s Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program and are supported by 81 preceptors located throughout the province.
- Sept. 21: Vancouver Coastal Health staff released a study in the Harm Reduction Journal that found that between July 2016 to March 2017, 79% of drugs checked at Insite tested positive for fentanyl: http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/harm-reduction-journal-publishes-insite-fentanyl-study
- Sept. 21: Insite, North America’s first supervised consumption services site, marked 15 years of service: http://www.vch.ca/public-health/harm-reduction/supervised-consumption-sites/insite-user-statistics
- Sept. 20: The BC Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia released a study that found daily use of cannabis could help patients stay on treatment for opioid use disorder: https://www.bccsu.ca/news-release/cannabis-use-could-help-people-stay-on-treatment-for-opioid-addiction/
- Sept. 17: With one year of operation complete in both Kelowna and Kamloops, there have been no overdose deaths at the Mobile Supervised Consumption Service (MSCS) and hundreds of clients have been connected successfully to addiction treatment and harm reduction services: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/MediaCentre/NewsReleases/Documents/MSCS_Kelowna.pdf https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/MediaCentre/NewsReleases/Documents/MSCS_Kamloops.pdf
- As of Sept. 15, 2018, 117,197 Take Home Naloxone kits were distributed free of charge from 1,459 Take Home Naloxone locations around B.C.: http://towardtheheart.com/thn-in-bc-infograph
- Sept. 13: Research from the BC Centre on Substance Use and the University of British Columbia indicated that more specialized harm reduction services are needed for women who use drugs: https://www.bccsu.ca/news-release/more-specialized-harm-reduction-services-needed-for-women-who-use-drugs/
- Sept. 6: The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced more than $71.7 million in funding for innovative treatment options for people with substance-use disorders in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/the-governments-of-canada-and-british-columbia-are-providing-more-than-717-million-in-innovative-tre
- Aug 31: Vancouver Coastal Health announced recruitment for Overdose Outreach Team staff as the service expands to Richmond and the North Shore: http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health%E2%80%99s-overdose-outreach-team-expands
- Aug. 29: The Province of B.C. launched a class-action lawsuit against opioid drug companies, whose marketing practices have had devastating impacts on the lives of thousands of British Columbians: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AG0064-001655
- Aug. 23: Fraser Health held overdose response practice drills throughout its health-care facilities and online to promote being prepared to recognize and respond to a drug overdose: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/news/2018/Aug/practice-your-skills-to-reverse-an-overdose#.W6leKXtKi70
- To date, RCMP and municipal police have recorded 474 successful overdose reversals by administering naloxone and 8,102 members (sworn and civilian) have received naloxone training.