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Loved Ones Lost

Portraits of four among 931 people who died of illicit drug overdoses in 2016, making it the deadliest year on record. The BC Coroners Services reports that the powerful opioid fentanyl’s presence on the illicit drug market accounts for the spike in deaths. This year, as the provincial election entered its final week, B.C.’s overdose death toll had accelerated beyond last year’s rate, when the provincial health officer declared the overdose crisis a public health emergency.

Jackie Wong profiles four who crossed the deadly path of the overdose crisis by very different routes. They struggled with addiction and, in some cases, mental illness. Each were loved, and are missed.

This series was produced by Tyee Solutions Society. It was made possible through the financial support of SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement Knowledge Mobilization Lab. Support for this project does not necessarily imply endorsement of the findings nor content of this report. TSS funders neither influence nor endorse the particular content of TSS reporting. Other publications wishing to publish this series, contact us here.

In This Series



Loved Ones Lost: ‘I Want This Time to Teach You’

An addicted daughter’s words became her mother’s work. Last in a series.

By Jackie Wong, 26 May 2017



Loved Ones Lost: Death of a Downtown Poet

Mel Hennan drew a community to him with his art, activism and cheerful embrace of life.

By Jackie Wong, 19 May 2017



Loved Ones Lost: Tears for Marnie

She survived racism, violence, and homelessness but not BC’s overdose crisis. Part of a series.

By Jackie Wong, 15 May 2017



Loved Ones Lost: An Oil Driller’s Struggle

Ryan knew he was fortunate to have his family’s support. Then luck turned cruel. First in a series.

By Jackie Wong, 5 May 2017