Five years of BC’s public health emergency

Today marks the fifth year since the declaration of the overdose public health emergency. We reflect on the tremendous efforts to prevent and respond to toxic drug poisonings, to change clinical practice and policy, and to improve people’s lives – and we acknowledge that it hasn’t been nearly enough. People

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Dr. Jeff Harries: Profile of a Trailblazer

When Dr. Jeff Harries was invited to join a Zoom call with some of his colleagues in Interior Health, he probably thought nothing of it. Though he's now retired, the Penticton-based physician – like all of us these days – has become accustomed to these virtual meetings. This call was

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Changing the Story on Addiction Care

A new podcast from the BCCSU is changing how change perceptions about substance use and put evidence in clinical practice. Produced as part of the BC ECHO on Substance Use, the Addiction Practice Pod brings clinical training straight to listeners’ ears. The podcast is hosted by David P. Ball, a

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Addressing B.C.’s dual public health emergencies

Four years into a provincial public health emergency as a result of unprecedented drug overdoses, British Columbia had seemed to be making progress. At the end of 2019 and into the first months of 2020, overdose fatalities were steadily decreasing, a result of life-saving harm reduction interventions like naloxone and

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New clinical guidance to reduce risk for people during dual health emergencies

To help reduce the risks to people who use substances, the Province has announced new clinical guidance, effective immediately, for health-care providers to stem the spread of COVID-19 and respond to the ongoing overdose emergency. The provincial clinical guidance incorporates the federal government’s recent exemptions to the Controlled Drugs and

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Ensuring access to substance use care amid the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a pandemic. It was declared British Columbia’s second public health emergency – the first being the opioid overdose crisis – this week. People who use drugs often face social and structural challenges like

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Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines

On October 17, 2018, the adult use of cannabis will become legal in Canada. Legalization provides an opportunity not only to regulate the use and supply of cannabis, but also to educate and inform cannabis users to prevent or reduce cannabis-related health problems. The Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for

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Living in the Best Place on Earth

When Tyler Cuddahy moved to Vancouver from Alberta as a 16-year-old just over a decade ago, they weren’t just leaving behind a life in foster care and childhood abuse – they were searching for a community. “I was looking for a place to be accepted,” Tyler recalls. “I was dealing

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Can we reduce drug-related harm by changing how and when income assistance is distributed?

On the last Wednesday of every month, Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is filled with an energy unlike other days of the month. It’s cheque day, the one day each month when income assistance is delivered. Lineups outside Pigeon Park Savings are followed by lineups inside grocery stores and the Army &

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