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

 

First responders working on an overdose victim in Penticton in September, 2022. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Interior-wide drug alert after cluster of fatal overdoses in Kelowna

Drug checks have found benzodiazepines and higher than average concentrations of fentanyl

 

235 Nickel Road, Kelowna, B.C. (Brittany Webster/Capital News)

Owner of Kelowna problem house finally finds support to evict squatters

Squatters have until Sept. 30 to vacate the property as per negotiations

  • Sep 22, 2022
235 Nickel Road, Kelowna, B.C. (Brittany Webster/Capital News)
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

  • Sep 21, 2022
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)
Mom Stop the Harm group and city councillor Loyal Woodridge (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

Mother who lost son to drug poisoning speaks out at OD Awareness Day in Kelowna

Her son thought he was taking cocaine but it was laced with fentanyl

Mom Stop the Harm group and city councillor Loyal Woodridge (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)
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)
Helen Jennens’ urn that holds the ashes of her two sons, Rian and Tyler. (submitted)

‘It’s in every neighbourhood’: Mother speaks out on toxic drug crisis in Okanagan

Helen Jennens lost both her sons to toxic drugs

  • Aug 24, 2022
Helen Jennens’ urn that holds the ashes of her two sons, Rian and Tyler. (submitted)
(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)
Photos were taken with permission of a man concealing his identity with his belongings (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

The war on drugs in B.C. is a failed effort, says UBCO expert

Sana Shahram, PhD, said that the government should decriminalize drug use and provide safe supply.

Photos were taken with permission of a man concealing his identity with his belongings (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)
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)

B.C. MLA says illicit drug decriminalization sends wrong message

Northwest MLA 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