Updated statistics released today from the BC Coroners Service show the number of illicit drug overdose deaths remained relatively steady throughout September. Naloxone kits

Updated statistics released today from the BC Coroners Service show the number of illicit drug overdose deaths remained relatively steady throughout September. Naloxone kits

Government provides update on actions to stem the overdose crisis in British Columbia

Updated statistics released today from the BC Coroners Service show the number of illicit drug overdose deaths remained relatively steady

Government continues to take actions on many fronts to prevent and respond to overdoses in B.C.:

Since September 2016, when Premier Christy Clark announced $5 million to fund strategies identified under the Joint Task Force on Overdose Prevention, as well as a further $5 million to establish the BC Centre on Substance Use, considerable work has taken place.

This includes:

* On Oct. 13, 2016, regulations under the Health Professions Act and the Emergency Health Services Act were amended to enable all healthcare professionals, first responders (e.g. police, firefighters), social workers and citizens to administer naloxone outside of a hospital setting.

This was done to prevent further loss of life from opioid overdose, to the extent possible, by enabling anyone to administer naloxone to someone appearing to be suffering from an opioid overdose.The amendment is also extended to all citizens, which allows people employed in places where overdoses are more likely to happen but where not a lot of health care workers or emergency responders are regularly employed, such as shelters and certain mental health and substance use centres.

* On Oct. 14, 2016, Health Minister Terry Lake signed a letter providing the required support for Vancouver Coastal Health to submit applications to Health Canada for two additional supervised consumption services. Vancouver Coastal Health continues its work on the applications to meet the extensive requirements under the federal Respect for Communities Act.

* A number of police detachments and departments have held community safety forums and reached out to parents and youth.

* Intranasal naloxone is being distributed to RCMP detachments and some municipal police departments, as part of the $5 million to support the work of the joint task force. Following Health Canada’s approval of the sale of intranasal naloxone in Canada on Oct. 3, 2016, both intranasal and injectable naloxone is now available for purchase without a prescription in British Columbia.

* Since Oct. 11, 2016, the Take Home Naloxone program has been further expanded, with the following results:

* An additional 997 Take Home Naloxone kits were distributed (14,743 total)

* An additional 19 locations in B.C. are dispensing Take Home Naloxone kits (316 total); and

* An additional 222 people were trained on naloxone administration (11,851 total).

* On Oct. 6, 2016, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and chief coroner Lisa Lapointe presented on B.C.’s response to the overdose crisis to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. They urged the federal government to either repeal or amend Bill C-2, the “Respect for Communities Act,” so that it does not stand in the way of the establishing additional supervised consumption services in British Columbia. They also called for the federal regulation of drug manufacturing equipment like pill presses.

* B.C. will also participate and share strategies to respond to the overdose crisis at the upcoming National Opioid Summit hosted by federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, Nov. 18-19, 2016.

* Following the announcement of $5 million in government funding, work is

also underway on additional priority areas identified by the Joint Task Force.

This includes:

* equipment and supplies for the RCMP Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Team to support B.C.’s police with drug testing;

* enhanced enforcement activities targeted at illicit fentanyl traffickers;

* enhanced file investigation for overdose deaths by the BC Coroners Service;

* renovating and equipping new spaces or purchasing mobile units to expand supervised consumption services;

* purchasing drug identification equipment for B.C.’s Provincial Toxicology Centre at the BC Centre for Disease Control; and

* enhanced surveillance work on overdoses by health authorities and the BCCDC.





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read