Tag Archives: Mental Health

Youth face barriers to overdose harm reduction, say front-line workers

Editor’s note: There were 47 drug related deaths in the Greater Campbell River Health Area during 2023. This is the third worst drug related death rate on Vancouver Island, only surpassed by Victoria (145) and Nanaimo (116). There were 31 drug related deaths in Greater Campbell River during 2022 and 26 in 2021

Greater Campbell River is a health area that stretches from the Oyster River to Sayward on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and includes Discovery Island communities like Cortes, Quadra and Read, but the epicentre of this public health emergency is the city of Campbell River.  According to BC emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 681 drug overdose calls in Campbell River last year. The numbers have kept increasing every year since COVID arrived in March 2020 and did not decrease after the period of self distancing ended. There were 525 callouts in 2022, 404 in 2021 and 249 in 2020. In the four years prior to that, the call numbers fluctuated from a low of 152 in 2016 to a high of 230 in 2018.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With the toxic drug crisis as the leading cause of death for British Columbians aged 10 though 59, nearly 170 youth, aged 18 and under, have lost their lives since 2017. According to experts, not enough research and monitoring has been done to assess the impacts of the crisis on young people, who also face barriers when accessing harm reduction services.

Continue reading Youth face barriers to overdose harm reduction, say front-line workers

For Teens Who Drink and Do Drugs, Here’s How to Reduce the Harm

Editor’s notes: “In Local Health Area 72 (Campbell River), which includes Cortes and Quadra Islands, 13.5 litres of absolute alcohol are sold per person. This is considerably higher than the Island Health average of 10.9 and the provincial average of 9.0. Given that one litre of absolute alcohol is equivalent to 58 standard drinks, residents of LHA 72 are consuming 783 alcoholic beverages annually, on average”from the the Cortes Island and Quadra Island profiles

“In Vancouver Island North, which includes Campbell River, Cortes and Quadra Islands, 52% of youth have tried alcohol, compared to 45% provincially. Similarly, 37% of Vancouver Island North youth have tried marijuana, compared to 26% provincially. Tobacco sees a similar trend, with 29% of Vancouver Island North youth trying tobacco, compared to 21% of youth provincially”from the Cortes Island and Quadra Island profiles

By Michelle Gamage, The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About 40 per cent of Canadian teenagers drank alcohol in the last year and one in five used cannabis, according to a bi-annual Health Canada survey that asks kids about substances. 

The 2021-22 Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey was filled out by 61,096 kids from Grade 7 to 12 — typically 12 to 17 — in all provinces except New Brunswick, which opted out. This is its 11th year collecting data on tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and drug use. 

Continue reading For Teens Who Drink and Do Drugs, Here’s How to Reduce the Harm

Indigenous People Bare the Brunt of the Toxic Drug Crisis

 The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The B.C. First Nations Health Authority opened its gathering to present a grim report on toxic drug toxic deaths in 2022 with a song, a prayer of hope and  unity for the families and friends affected by toxic drugs. 

The report found toxic  drugs have been taken a disproportionate toll on First Nations members,  who were almost five times as likely to die of drug poisoning in 2022  than non-Indigenous B.C. residents. Although representing only 3.3 per  cent of the province’s population, Indigenous people represented 16.4  per cent of toxic drug poisoning deaths in 2021.

Continue reading Indigenous People Bare the Brunt of the Toxic Drug Crisis

Grant awarded to Kuu-us Crisis Line Society, which serves Indigenous communities across B.C.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Port Alberni, BC – Kuu-us Crisis Line Society is one of 22 Indigenous-led non-profits awarded $216, 000 over the course of three years from a provincial program.

Cindy McAnerin, associate director at Kuu-us Crisis Line Society, said a need that they have is to upgrade their vehicles for outreach.

Continue reading Grant awarded to Kuu-us Crisis Line Society, which serves Indigenous communities across B.C.

Vancouver’s Recovery Café Is an ‘Oasis in the Desert’

By Moira Wyton, The Tyee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Calen Carswel has been in recovery nearly as long as he’s been alive.

The 61-year-old lost his  older sister, Eleanor, in a car accident when he was just four. The  absence of her love and emotional support, Carswel said, sent him  seeking comfort almost everywhere he could find.

Carswel says he turned to sugar and  television as a child, and then to alcohol, pornography and cocaine as a  young man living in Lillooet, Newfoundland and Vancouver. 

Continue reading Vancouver’s Recovery Café Is an ‘Oasis in the Desert’