Overdose Prevention and Education Network

Activating BC communities to prevent and respond to opioid overdose

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OPEN’s goal is to activate mental health and substance use (MHSU) service providers across British Columbia to respond to opioid overdoses within their communities, equip them with overdose prevention education and response tools, and ultimately reduce harm to people who use opioid drugs.


In 2016, there were 978 illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia, the highest amount on record. Fentanyl was detected in 67% of these deaths, compared to 29% in 2015, and 25% in 2014. In response to this sharp increase, BC’s provincial health officer declared a public health emergency in April 2016. In September 2016, CAI approved $750,000 in funding to the OPEN project, with the goal of increasing the MHSU sector’s capacity to prevent and respond to opioid overdose. OPEN provides 11 convening grants to community-based organizations across the province, with special focus on activating community networks that address populations at greater risk of opioid overdose. Organizations receiving grants will collaborate with community partners in developing a local strategy aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic in their region, and have the opportunity to qualify for Local Action Grants. In addition to grants, the project also provides support to each organization through availability of evidence-based overdose prevention training, provision of Naloxone kits and other first responder tools, and facilitation of a collaborative knowledge exchange.

OPEN’s Impact

Click the link to view the full infographic


For more information, visit the OPEN Evaluation Page.

OPEN’s Grantees

Coalition Name:
BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS)
BEAP (Business Engagement Ambassador Program)
OCAT Chilliwack
CORE: Community Overdose Response and Education
Coalition of Substance Users of the North: Support (CSUNS)
Harm Reduction Round Table for Youth Service Providers (HRRTYS)
ILLICIT Projects
Indigenous Outreach to Prevent Overdoses
Ridge Meadows Overdose Community Action Team (RMOCAT)
Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council – UIOTF
Nelson Fentanyl Task Force (NFTF)
Penticton & District Overdose Coalition
South Island Community Overdose Response Network (SICORN)
SUSTAIN (Substance User Society Teaching Advocacy Instead of Neglect)
Vancouver Community Coalition Against Prohibition and Overdose (Van CCAPO)
Vernon COOL Team
Comox Valley Peers Engagement Project
Nanwakola Campaign
Nanaimo Coalition of Peer Run Organizations
Lookout Society
Phoenix Centre
Richmond Addiction Services
Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society
The POUNDS Project
Sunshine Coast CONNECTIONS
CHANGE (Chilliwack)


OPEN project manager, Prairie Chiu:
[email protected]
604-638-1172 Ext. 121