The BCCDC Foundation for Public Health is very pleased to have helped facilitate a very successful and informative public event hosted by Science World on February 28th, 2018.

BC is experiencing an overdose crisis and the public needs more information to dispel myths around drug addiction and who it affects. The BCCDC Foundation, BCCDC, and Science World teamed up to organize an event that had experts and health care workers share information as a public panel. Panelists included:

  • Dr Mark Tyndall, BCCDC’s Executive Medical Director
  • Sarah Blyth, Vancouver Overdose Prevention Society
  • Sgt Mike Wheeler, VPD
  • Erica Thomson, Fraser Health
  • Patrick Smith (Four Bears, Culture Saves Lives
  • Moderator: Don Shafer, Roundhouse Radio

A handout to provide basic information opioids, fentanyl, and the overdose emergency in BC was circulated for attendees. A downloadable copy for general use can be found on the BCCDC Resources page, with lots of other helpful information on the Toward The Heart website .


The panel answered questions about how we got here, how is the VPD responding to the overdose crisis, what are the social and environmental issues that need to be addressed, what can be done about a toxic drug supply and more. The panelists were able to provide diverse perspectives but shared a common voice in saying that a secure, safe drug supply is required, it is a time for bravery around drug policy, that key social supports are vital and that we must listen to and value the knowledge of those with lived experience.

Some of the many pieces of information shared can be found by searching the discussions on twitter, as the Foundation @bccdcfoundation ‘live-tweeted’ the event, along with others in the audience; read the hashtags #overdosecrisis and #overdosecrisisSW

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