(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press)

One year later: B.C.’s first public health emergency continues

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall reflects on the past year of the deadly overdose crisis.

Thursday marks one year since the province declared its first public health emergency, in response to the steadily climbing overdose deaths in B.C.

A total of 914 lives have been claimed from opioid-related deaths since the declaration was made April 14, 2016 by Health Minister Terry Lake and provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

At that time, January 2016 was marked as the month where the largest number of overdose deaths had occurred since 2007 – when 76 people died – that number was quickly beaten.

For the past four months more than a hundred people have died each and every month, including a record 142 lives lost in December – close to double that of January.

The most recent statistics show an average of seven people dying every two days across the province.

In a statement Thursday, Kendall acknowledged that the deaths are continuing, despite the heroic efforts of volunteers, family members and first responders, as well as awareness campaigns from health authorities and the use of naloxone kits that have reversed “thousands” of overdoses.

“While the continued toll is discouraging, we must also acknowledge that because of these actions, hundreds of people are alive and hundreds more are now in treatment and recovery who would not be there if not for these interventions,” he said.

Just Posted

Raise the curtains: New outdoor theatre coming to Parksville

A $204,000 boost comes from Island Coastal Economic Trust

‘Handmade for Hope’ will run at Orca Place in Parksville

Grant received; program will run in different room

RDN residents display good recycling habits

Program shows most people comply with collection rules

Parksville swimmer shatters four world records

Nicholas Bennett, 16, shines on world stage

Errington mill closes, approximately 50 workers lose their jobs

Family-owned operation was open for 30 years

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read