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Behind the Numbers: Connecting Stories and Ideas on Overdose and Drug Use


In 2017, more than 1,450 people in BC died of a suspected substance overdose. The BC Coroner noted that four out of five people were male and nine out of ten deaths occurred indoors. More than half of those deaths were in private homes. Behind these numbers, there are stories about people's lives and ideas for change.

If you work with people who use substances or just want to understand more about why people use substances alone, explore the set of tools created by the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.

Understanding people who use substances alone

The Journey Map brings together the findings about why people may use substances alone in private residences. The Journey Map helps the reader understand people's experiences, the contributing external factors, and their current strategies for staying safe when using substances. Read the Journey Map.

Root cause of substance use

The Systems Map summarizes findings about the root causes of this complex problem. Read the Systems Map.

Reasons for using alone

The Stories Booklet contains 25 stories from people with lived experience and support providers. The stories explore reasons for using substances alone and ideas for change. Read the Stories Booklet.

Opportunities you can use

The opportunities booklet includes over 44 opportunities that are examples of what people think would help them live healthier lives, be treated with more respect and dignity, and make change. Read the Opportunities Booklet.

For more info

For information about overdose prevention and treatment, please visit

SOURCE: Behind the Numbers: Connecting Stories and Ideas on Overdose and Drug Use ( )
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