Vancouver – The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released the meeting report containing 12 key actions identified by participants in the BC Overdose Action Exchange held last month.
The meeting was organized in partnership by the BCCDC, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer of BC and the BC Coroners Service.
Included in the key actions:
- Enhance surveillance/data collection to better track and respond to overdoses;
- Expand availability of naloxone to reverse overdoses;
- Increase supervised consumption service capacity across the province;
- Develop capacity for checking of street drugs;
- Expand access to opioid substitution treatments like Suboxone and methadone;
- Launch a targeted provincial public awareness campaign.
A full list of the key actions, with additional detail on each, is available in the meeting report, which is posted to the BCCDC website.
The BCCDC also supports and will participate in the work of the newly formed Joint Task Force on Overdose Response. Headed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall and Clayton Pecknold, Director of Police Services, the task force will provide expert leadership and advice to the Province on additional actions to prevent and respond to overdoses in BC.
Health Minister Terry Lake -
“The drug overdose crisis in BC is deeply concerning and has tragically affected many families and communities across the province. Meetings like the one that I participated in at BCCDC last month are important as they bring everyone together to propose solutions, resulting in recommended actions that help save lives.”
Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer –
“The BC Overdose Action Exchange brought together more than 80 people who are dedicated to solutions to one of the most alarming overdose epidemics we’ve seen. Many of the recommended actions are items we’re currently working on. We will use these to strengthen our response to this urgent crisis.”
Dr. Mark Tyndall, Executive Director, BC Centre for Disease Control -
“Something we heard again and again at the meeting was the need for a comprehensive, coordinated approach that includes policy, programs, education, enforcement and surveillance. Many of these actions are short- or medium-term interventions geared towards the current overdose crisis, but it is equally important to remember the social, economic and medical reasons why people use drugs and may become dependent in the first place.”
Lisa Lapointe, Chief Coroner, BC Coroners Service -
“Far too many families in our province have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of illicit drugs. The participants at the Exchange meeting are committed to developing and supporting strategies to prevent these tragedies. Most importantly, there is a true willingness to work together to effect meaningful change.”
- The BCCDC operates the Take Home Naloxone Program. As of mid-July:
- The program has trained 9781 people;
- 10973 naloxone kits have been dispensed;
- The program operates in 269 locations across BC.
- The June 9, 2016 BC Overdose Action Exchange meeting included more than 80 people from 30 organizations.
- Among the participants were medical experts and researchers, government and policy makers, law enforcement, families of those who have died from drug overdose and members of the drug using community.
The BC Centre for Disease Control, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides provincial and national leadership in public health through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides both direct diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities For more information, please visit www.bccdc.ca or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC.
BC Centre for Disease Control
604-707-2412 or pager: 604-871-5699