Substance Use

Toxic Drugs Are Circulating

As things in British Columbia shift to a “new normal” with the COVID-19 pandemic, social connections with the people in our lives are starting to increase.

Moving into fall this year, you may be returning to class or headed to work. Coming back to campus is a busy time.

You’re working hard for your weekend. It’s exciting to see friends in a social way after so long – and it’s time to celebrate in the safest way possible. With a return to social activities, some people may be trying drugs for the first time.

Toxic drugs are circulating throughout British Columbia. It’s important that you have the information to make informed decisions when it comes to using drugs and the increasingly toxic drug supply.

If you or your friends use drugs, here are ways to stay safer:

  • Get your drugs checked at an overdose prevention site or supervised consumption site.
  • Get informed and learn about the signs of overdose and how to respond to an overdose.
  • Download the Lifeguard App. The Lifeguard app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This app will connect you with emergency responders if you or someone you know ever becomes unresponsive.
  • Carry naloxone and call 9-1-1 if you need emergency help.


There are also a number of virtual mental health supports you can access including:

  • Keep Me Safe: A free app that provides all KPU students with 24/7 Professional Counselling. You can access a large, diverse network of professional counsellors who are matched to understand your unique circumstances and experiences, in your preferred language and culture.
  • 310-Mental Health Support: Call 310-6789 for toll-free provincial access to emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • 1-800-SUICIDE: ​Call 1-800-784-2433 if you are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide.
  • Here 2 Talk: Here2Talk connects students with mental health support when they need it. Through this program, all students currently registered in a B.C. post-secondary institution have access to free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web.
  • KUU-US Crisis Response Service: Call 1-800-588-8717 for culturally-aware crisis support for Indigenous peoples in BC.
  • Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service: Call 1-800-663-1441 to find resources and support.

A comprehensive list of virtual mental health supports can be found at the following links:

To learn more about how to use drugs safely and for more information, visit:



The laws in B.C have changed. Health Canada has granted B.C a 3-year exemption from the controlled Drugs and Substances Act beginning January 31st, 2023 to January 31st, 2026.

What does this mean?

Under this 3-year exemption, adults (18 years and older) in B.C. will not be arrested or charged for possessing small amounts of certain illegal drugs for personal use. The total amount of illegal drug(s) must be equal to or less than 2.5 grams. The illegal drugs covered by the exemption are:

  • Opioids (such as heroin, morphine, and fentanyl)
  • Crack and powder cocaine 
  • Methamphetamine (Meth)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)


Adults found in possession of any combination of these illegal drugs that adds up to a combined total of 2.5 grams or less will not be subject to criminal charges and the drugs will not be seized. 
For more information on Decriminalization visit: