Mental Health and Addictions

Minister’s statement on BC Coroners Service report on deaths from illicit drug overdoses

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Mental Health and Addictions

Minister’s statement on BC Coroners Service report on deaths from illicit drug overdoses

Media Contacts
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Communications
250 208-8438
Media Contacts
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Communications
250 208-8438

Backgrounders

Key actions taken by the B.C. government to combat the opioid crisis

Key actions

  • Take-home naloxone kits are available at over 1,480 locations, including almost 600 community pharmacies.
  • Twenty-one overdose prevention sites and nine supervised consumption sites are run by regional health authorities.
    • In the past two years, these sites were visited more than one million times with thousands of overdoses survived.
    • There has never been an overdose death at a location providing overdose prevention or supervised consumption service in B.C.
  • Funding and enabling organizations to implement safer supply programs for people most at risk of overdose, e.g., PHS Molson Overdose prevention site.
  • Investment of $1.7 million into Community Innovation Projects driven by organizations in 27 communities, focused on local action to save lives, address stigma and connect more people to treatment and recovery.
  • Signing of a historic tripartite agreement with First Nations and the federal government that fundamentally changes relationships around addiction and mental health and wellness, putting First Nations communities in the driver’s seat in shaping and delivering programs.
  • Funding of $20 million over three years for First Nations communities and Indigenous peoples to help address the overdose crisis.
  • Signing an agreement with the federal government to secure $33.98 million in federal funding to improve the capacity of the treatment system and to facilitate better linkages between people at risk of overdose and the treatment system.
  • Six injectable opioid agonist treatment (OAT) clinics that have the capacity to serve 314 clients (five in Vancouver, one in Surrey).
  • Further expansion planned with health authorities is underway. Two additional sites are expected to be in operation by April 2019 with capacity to serve 40 clients (20 in Victoria, 20 in the Interior).
  • The number of people receiving oral OAT grew from 19,240 in June 2017 to 21,549 in December 2018, an increase of 10%.

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