2020 served as a record-breaking year in lives lost to the overdose crisis. Over 1700 people died from overdose in BC, a 74% increase from 2019.

And the numbers have only increased in 2021.

Source: BC Coroners Service

In April 2021 alone, nearly 6 (5.9) people died each day—the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in the month of April.

The overdose crisis is worsening because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a staggering increase in overdoses and deaths, and First Nations people in BC are disproportionately and severely impacted.

“The devastating impact of the toxic drug crisis on BC’s First Nations people, families, and communities cannot be ignored. This issue will not be resolved without the continued support and commitment of health service partners, and First Nations leaders. We must continue to work together to reduce the impact of drug toxicity on First Nations people.”

-Richard Jock, CEO of the First Nations Health Authority
Credit: First Nations Health Authority

Compassion, Inclusion, & Engagement (CIE) is a partnership program between the BC Centre for Disease Control, the First Nations Health Authority, and the BCCDC Foundation, that empowers people with lived and living experience of substance use (peers) to take action and stop overdose in their community. The work that peers do is based in public health, saving lives, and ending the overdose crisis.

You can help protect lives in BC by donating to CIE today.

How CIE supports peers and makes an immediate impact

  • CIE funds peer groups providing overdose response and safe injection services in local communities, particularly where overdose prevention sites and services don’t exist.
  • CIE supports peers delivering harm reduction services, clean and safe supplies, and training.
  • CIE helps peers establish meaningful connections for people in their communities.
  • CIE groups work to eliminate stigma and drug policy-related harms which are significant contributors to the overdose crisis.

Thanks to you, we reached our first target of $30,000! The need is increasing, so we’ve increased our goal to $60,000 and we need your continued support to help us reach our new target. Will you help us get there?

Each CIE peer group is eligible for a grant of up to $10,000; the more we raise, the more groups across BC we can support. But we can’t do it without you.

We can’t risk losing any more of our friends and family to the overdose crisis. We must work together and act now to prevent further deaths.

Please, consider donating today to support CIE and save lives.

Want to learn more about CIE? Check out this guest blog post “Compassion, Inclusion, & Engagement: The Role of Peers in the Overdose Crisis” written by the CIE team at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

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