In April of 2016 BC's Public Health Officer declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. To date this crisis has claimed over 3,000 lives and with the onset of COVID-19, has only escalated. NNPBC has focused on working with partners and colleagues on key issues such as safe supply, housing, mental health services, treatment, support, harm reduction and decriminalization.
Nursing is ideally positioned to provide critical support in addressing the best way forward in this crisis.
Please stay tuned to this page as we update it consistently with new resources and information. For any questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BC Request for Federal Exemption to Decriminalize Personal Possession
- Brief: COVID-19 & At Risk and Vulnerable Populations
- Brief: De-Stigmatizing Language
- "COVID-19 & Substance Use: A message from the BC Centre on Substance Use"
- Brief: Bill C-22
- Brief: Impact of the Overdose Crisis on Chronic Pain Sufferers
- Brief: Safe Supply
- Brief: Impact of the Opioid Crisis on Indigenous People in BC
- Brief: Peer Support Workers & the Opioid Crisis.
- Brief: Stigma & the Opioid Crisis.
- Summary: Understanding the Implications of Dual Public Health Emergencies
- Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia (NNPBC) and the Harm Reduction Nurses Association (HRNA) call for the decriminalization of people who use drugs in BC.
- A Tale of Two Pandemics, by Sally Thorne
- BCCSU: DST- Provincial Opioid Addiction Treatment Support Program
- BCCDC Decision Support Tool Administration of Naloxone
- BCCDC Overdose Response Reports
- BCCDC Toolkit: Responding to Opioid Overdose for BC service providers 2020
- BCCNM Overdose Crisis Response Centre
- BCCSU - British Columbia Centre on Substance Use
- BCCSU - 24/7 Addiction Medicine Clinician Support Line
- Canadian Association of People who use Drugs
- Government of BC
- Harm Reduction Coalition
- Harm Reduction Nurses Assocation
- Letter recognizing IOAD from Tess Kroeker, RPN Council President, Board Member
- Letter recognizing IOAD from Michael Sandler, Executive Director
- Moms Stop the Harm
- National Overdose Response Service (NORS)
- Statistical reports on deaths in British Columbia
- Toward the Heart
- Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users
- Radio: RPN Council President, Tess Kroeker speaking in support of decriminalization on the Jill Bennett show.
- Video: RPN Council President, Tess Kroeker speaking in support of decriminalization on the Global BC Morning Show."
- Radio: RPN Council President, Tess Kroeker speaking in support of decriminalization on the Charles Adler show.
- Video: Global Morning News - Michael Sandler discusses the benefits of expanding prescriptive authority for pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs.
- Video: Michael Sandler, ED on Global BC's News Hour speaking about increasing the number of health professionals who can prescribe safer alternatives to the toxic street drug supply.
- Radio: Sherri Kensall, NNPBC Interim Board Chair speaking on the announcement that increases the number of health professionals who can prescribe safer alternatives to the toxic street drug supply on the Ryan Price show.
- Video: Michael Sandler, on the Jill Bennett show talking about safe drug alternatives.
Past Responses to the BC Opioid Crisis
- ARNBC Blog: The Opioid Crisis Can’t Be Just a Headline for the Nursing Profession by Zak Matieschyn
- ARNBC Blog: The role of street nurses in increasing access to health care for marginalized populations by Meaghan Thumath
- Opioid Crisis 'To Do' List
- Opioid Forum Agenda
- Greetings letter from MP Jenny Kwan
- Photo Gallery
RN/RPN Prescribing Updates
- Michael Sandler, Executive Director on the recent changes allowing RN/RPN prescribing of safer alternatives to street drugs.
- New public health order to help slow B.C.'s overdose crisis
- NNPBC media re: public health orders to slow B.C's overdose crisis
Resources from BCCNM
Anti Stigma Workshops
The stigmatization of people living with substance use difficulties is all too common in Canada, including within healthcare environments. People with lived experiences of substance use difficulties often report feeling devalued, dismissed and dehumanized by many of the healthcare professionals with whom they come into contact. Research with healthcare providers suggests that stigma can manifest in subtle and largely unintended ways. Specifically, stigma can be related to a lack of skills and confidence when working with patients with substance use difficulties, a lack awareness of one's own prejudices and an incomplete understanding of how important healthcare providers are in maintaining good health. Moreover, understanding stigma and the lives of those impacted by negative and often damaging stereotypes is fundamental in ensuring that people who use substances achieve better health outcomes.
In collaboration with our colleagues at the Association for the Collaboration to End Stigma (ACES), we are happy to offer nurses access to anti-stigma workshops. Visit the ACES website and use the online form to book a session.
Opioid Crisis - Key Messages
- Nursing's reputation as the world's most trusted profession is based on its long history of working with the most vulnerable populations, often in times of crisis.
- Nurses have a responsibility to protect and advocate for at risk populations, such as those who use drugs.
- NNPBC endorses the province of BC move to decriminalize possession of illegal drugs for personal use, recognizing that the criminalization of drug involved lifestyles significantly contributes to risk of overdose.
- NNPBC supports 'safe-supply' to prevent unnecessary overdose deaths with a regulated supply in addition to bolstering other resources in assisting individuals who use drugs.
- NNPBC supports open communication channels from the Public Health Officer and the Ministry of Health to harm-reduction and outreach workers.
- NNPBC applauds and supports the numerous peer support workers who work all across this province for their life-saving work.
- NNPBC recognizes that understanding stigma and the lives of those impacted by negative and often damaging stereotypes is fundamental in ensuring that people who use substances achieve better health outcomes.
- NNPBC wholeheartedly believes that an increase in nursing support to both shelter and harm reduction organizations and groups will help to alleviate the risks associated with drug use.
- NNPBC recognizes that “system” inadequacies have a serious negative consequences on first responders which may lead to burnout and a reinforcing cycle perpetuating stigma toward people who use drugs.