(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

North Pole Village in Maple Ridge to benefit children with autism

Don Taylor is raising money for the Chrysta Learning Academy

Flames beat Grandview for fourth straight

Garrett tallies six points, Marshall gets a shutout

Maple Ridge MLA Bob D’Eith to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users

Premier appoints MLA to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

Ridge Meadows speed skater qualifies for BC Games

Matthias Daniels wins zone qualifier

Three people deported after Surrey brawl caught on camera: RCMP

Police say they have been ‘actively engaged’ in the issue of youth fights in Newton since March

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

‘Police incident’ leads Squamish RCMP to ask public to leave Stawamus Chief

People were told to expected a ‘noted police presence’

Most Read