Drug Use and Overdose Response  

BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the overdose epidemic in BC a public health emergency in April 2016.  Despite committed efforts, the epidemic continues, as overdose statistics show.  This has significant impact on first responders, including frontline staff at Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) member and allied organizations, and especially people with lived experience (PWLE).

Responding to overdoses is one small piece of healthcare and advocacy services. PAN’s report, Canadian Drug Policy, Supervised Consumption Sites and Provincial Response to the Public Health Crisis of Overdose Deaths, was developed following the fall 2016 conference, where it became clear we needed to identify key action areas for going forward. One of the action areas was addressing the needs of our member organizations.

PAN executed further assessment of community needs: Responding to the Overdose Crisis in British Columbia: A Rapid Assessment of Frontline/ Community-Based Organizations’ Capacity-and-Skills-Building Needs.

The resources provided here reflect requests coming out of the conference and the Rapid Assessment research findings. We will provide monthly updates thrrough Substance Use News blogs, build on these resources and welcome feedback.

PAN’s Substance Use News

June 2017: Politics of harm reduction; World Drug Report; Updated resources

May 2017: Bill C-37 Becomes Law; Vancouver Police Department and Mayors’ Council release separate recommendations on opioid crisis.

April 2017: BC’s Public Health Crisis at One Year; BC Centre on Substance Use officially opens.

 

Statistical Reports on Overdose Deaths in BC 

These detailed reports from the Coroner’s office show fentanyl overdose fatalities according to month, day of week, age, sex, health authority (including a breakdown of townships and cities), and type of substance mixed with fentanyl.

The BC Centre for Disease Control provides Overdose Data Reports that include coroners reports and maps showing overdose response from first responders.

 

Provincial Government Reports

In July of 2016 the BC government formed a Joint Task Force on Overdose Response. Regular progress reports outline action on BC’s public health emergency, identifying achievements to date and next steps underway. The provincial government maintains a page on the Overdose response which includes reports from the Task Force (below) and also offers Guidelines and Resources for Supportive Housing Providers, Homeless Shelter Providers and Regional Health Authorities on Overdose Prevention and Response.

June 2017: Letter to Parents and Guardians on talking to youth about drug use

May 2017: Fifth Progress Update on B.C.’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Public Health Emergency

April 2017: BC’s Opioid Overdose Response One-Year Update

March 2017  Progress Update on B.C.’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Public Health Emergency  

January 2017 Progress Update on B.C.’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Public Health Emergency

November 2016 Progress Update on B.C.’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Public Health Emergency

September 2016 Progress Update on B.C.’s Response to the Opioid Overdose Public Health Emergency 

 

Community Recommendations 

The Opioid Crisis: The Need for Treatment on Demand  Vancouver Police Department, May 2017

Recommendations of the Mayors’ Task Force on the Opioid Crisis May 2017

 

Grief, Loss, and Burnout: Developing Resilience in Overdose Care

Take home Naloxone: A Guide to Promote Staff Resiliency and Prevent Distress After an Overdose Reversal.

Fentanyl Grief and Loss Support Group at Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House in Vancouver. Sundays 6PM-8 PM (February 2017- )

Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers:  This resource from the World Health Organization explains a framework for supporting people in ethical ways that respect their dignity, culture and abilities. Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both social and psychological support.

 

Harm Reduction

Explaining Harm Reduction with Hardhats, Seatbelts, and Sunscreen: Two minute stick-figure animation explains harm reduction principles and benefits.

Indigenizing Harm Reduction: The First Nations Health Authority Indigenous Wellness team explores what harm reduction looks like from an Indigenous perspective, and how they facilitate dialogue with First Nations communities around the province. Scroll to bottom of page for video and slides.

What is Harm Reduction?  This explains the set of strategies and philosophies about reducing harm related to drug use and building a community of respect and support for people who use drugs.

Harm Reduction Saves Lives (Report, 2017)

Canadian Harm Reduction Network: “virtual meeting place for individuals and organizations dedicated to reducing the social, health and economic harms associated with drugs and drug policies.”

Harm Reduction International: “working to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drugs.”

 

Overdose Prevention, Care and Recovery

Toward the Heart: This website was developed by the Provincial Harm Reduction program. It provides Naloxone information (and other drugs), training, and information on becoming a Take Home Naloxone site.

Find Take Home Naloxone kits in your area:

List of overdose prevention sites in BC

Fentanyl safety for first responders

How to Use Naloxone (3-minute video)

Take Home Naloxone Training Manual 

Overdose Prevention Site Manual (Vancouver Coastal Health)

Guidelines and Resources for Supportive Housing Providers, Homeless Shelter Providers and Regional Health Authorities on Overdose Prevention and Response

 

People with Lived Experience / People Who Use Drugs

Patients Helping Patients Understand Opioid Substitution Treatment 

Peerology: A guide by and for people who use drugs on how to get involved in improving conditions for people who use drugs (PWUD).

VANDU: The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU) is a group of users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use drugs through user-based peer support and education.
VANDU (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users) Manifesto for a Drug User Liberation Movement

SOLID is a Victoria, BC-based organization of current or former drug users that provides support, education and advocacy.

SANSU (Surrey Surrey Area Network of Substance Users Society) is an organization of current and former drug users in Surrey, BC that provides advocacy, harm reduction and social justice to people who use drugs in this region.

Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs is a group of people with lived experience of drug use; they emphasize the need for direct involvement of PWUD in policy making.

Engaging People Who Have Used Illicit Drugs in Qualitative Research

A Guide for Paying Peer Research Assistants – Challenges and Opportunities

From One Ally to Another – Practice Guidelines to Better Include People Who Use Drugs at Your Decision-Making Tables

 

Treatment Resources and Care

HealthLink BC provides free, non-emergency information including substance use or mental health. Alternate is a call to 811.

“Working Together to Reduce Harm” is the motto of the Toward the Heart site from the provincial harm reduction program includes information on finding overdose prevention sites, what different drugs do, support for people who use drugs and how to report bad dope.

 

 

The Fight Against Stigma

Stigma, Drug Addiction and Treatment Utilisation: PWUD Perspective (2016)

Why We Should Say Someone Is A ‘Person With An Addiction,’ Not An Addict (2017)

A single paragraph published nearly 40 years ago contributed to the opioid epidemic (2017)

Science is the way out of the opioid overdose epidemic. Not stigma (2017)

How the Stigma of Drug Addiction Hurts All of Us (2017)

Northern Health’s Stop Stigma videos

 

Drug Dependence and Substance Use Disorder

What is addiction, drug dependence, or substance use disorder? Here it is in brief from the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine and the longer explanation from the American Psychiatric Association.

Drug Dependence Treatment and Care- Fundamental presentations from the Canadian Society of Addictions Medicine (2016)

Commonly used illicit drugs (in general) and fentanyl specifically.

Frequently Asked Questions About Withdrawal

Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction 

 

Treatment and Research on Drug Use

Guidelines for Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder BC’s provincial guidelines

Center for Addictions Research of BC

British Columbia Centre on Substance Use 

Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine

 

Policy, Reporting and Advocacy

Canadian Drug Policy, Supervised Consumption Sites & Provincial Response to the Public Health Crisis of Overdose Deaths (PAN, 2016)

Responding to the Overdose Crisis in British Columbia: A Rapid Assessment of Frontline/ Community-Based Organizations’ Capacity-and-Skills-Building Needs  (PAN, 2017)

World Drug Report 2017

Harm Reduction Saves Lives (2017)

The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act – what you need to know (2017)

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition works to support the development of a Canadian drug policy that’s science-based, guided by public health principles, and respectful of human rights. The CDPC’s work includes the involvement of people who use drugs.

The work of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network includes a commitment to reducing the harms associated with drugs and the harms caused by harsh, misguided drug laws.

International Doctors for Drug Policies The aims of this international group are to protect society and individuals from drug-related death and disease; put the health of people first; improve access to essential medicines, and expand access to evidence-based treatment.

Drug Policy Alliance: US-based non-governmental organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

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  • The Evaluation News blog covers our work within PAN and with organizations in the community.  Learn about different kinds of evaluation like Realist Evaluation, learn how other organizations are using evaluation approaches, meet evaluators on the job, and find out about how you can help in community evaluation. Explore in detail:  Evaluation News blog Evaluation… Read more »

  • People with HIV can live long and healthy lives if they access to treatment and social support as needed. As people with HIV age, however, complications of aging can compound challenges of living with HIV. Concerns for people with HIV who are aging can include income security, stigma, safe and affordable housing, aging in place,… Read more »

  • Each year our annual conference gathers people from across the province who share their programs and services, learn about new developments in public health, and help build a vibrant and supportive community. We gather presentations, papers and videos following each conference so people may refer to them at any time. See resources from conferences: Explore… Read more »

  • We offer our KnowledgeConnect webinars to reach our 50+ member organizations as well as community leaders and stakeholders. Information is available when our viewers have the opportunity to connect. Watch for news on upcoming webinars in the blog. Follow the blog for new on upcoming webinars Explore webinars by theme: Advocacy, Policy, Public Health Health Determinants… Read more »

  • Each fall members of the PAN community meet to learn about the latest in public health and HIV in BC, learn from each other’s work and set priority action items for the upcoming year.  The 2016 Fall Conference, AGM, Forum and ED Summit was no exception. The 2016 conference featured Canadian drug policy and public health… Read more »

  • In April 2016 BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the overdose epidemic in BC a public health emergency.  Despite committed efforts, the epidemic continues, as overdose statistics show.  This has significant impact on first responders, including frontline staff at Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) member and allied organizations, and especially people with lived experience… Read more »

  • In community-based research the involvement of communities or people who share a common experience or identity with the group being researched is of great importance. The community has a central voice in the research directions. “Peer Research Assistants” or “Community Research Associates” are those hired into roles to help with the research from start to… Read more »

  • In April 2016 BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared the overdose epidemic in BC a public health emergency in April 2016.  Despite committed efforts, the epidemic continues, as overdose statistics show.  This has significant impact on first responders, including frontline staff at Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) member and allied organizations, and especially people… Read more »

  • Information about the law and the rights of people with HIV  Having HIV is not a crime, but law can impact heavily on the lives of people with HIV. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network “is one of the world’s leading organizations tackling the legal and human rights issues related to HIV, and advocating at both… Read more »

  • Evaluation can help guide your organization or group to make decisions about programs, services, research, and more. Participatory research is just what it sounds like- people and communities take part in decision-making about what is evaluated, rather than being told what they “should” evaluate. Community is central to evaluation work and we can help you… Read more »

  • Knowledge translation and exchange (KTE) or knowledge mobilization (KMb) consists of a variety of methods in which research and knowledge is transferred, translated, exchanged and co-produced to enhance the practical application of knowledge between researchers and research-users (individuals and community organizations seeking to use research to inform decisions in public policy and professional practice). A… Read more »

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