(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

Spring break slimmed down for Chilliwack students

Draft calendar only includes one week for spring, public feedback invited

Court appearance Thursday for Chilliwack man accused of killing his mother

Pre-trial conference for Clayton Warkentin charged in the February 2016 murder

Women’s March Canada Fraser Valley slated for Saturday morning

It’s a march for women’s rights and social justice for the most marginalized

Wet your whistle at the Fraser Valley Distillery Festival

Chilliwack Academy of Music’s annual event is back at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Column: BCHL loses legend with passing of Duncan Wray

The Vernon Viper owner presided over one of junior A’s most prestigious and successful teams.

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl on Abbotsford school grounds

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

White Rock plans to effectively ban legal pot dispensaries

Opponent says the plan is inspired by ‘a real right-wing mentality’

B.C. man, 21, accused of impersonating a police officer

Arrest warrant issued for Surrey man after two women in a vehicle in Langley chased by fake cop car

Most Read