How the Province is Responding

On April 14, 2016, provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared a public health emergency under the Public Health Act due to the significant rise in opioid-related overdose deaths reported in B.C. since the beginning of 2016. The declaration of a public health emergency under the allows for real-time information to be collected, reported and analysed across the health system, to identify immediately where risks are arising and take proactive action to warn and protect people who use drugs. This is the first time Dr. Kendall has used the act to enact these emergency powers.

While significant first steps have been taken to address B.C.’s opioid overdose emergency, much remains to be done. The data are clear: opioid overdoses do not discriminate. With multiple populations in all corners of the province at risk, the response to this crisis must be comprehensive; everyone in the province has a role to play.

To learn more about the actions government is taking, check out the information below.

Key Updates and Resources