Action Team

Our purpose is to discuss local overdose response with community decision-makers. We are responsible for supporting the coordination and communication of local overdose emergency response within the City of  Powell River and qathet regional district.

Overdose Prevention Site

OPEN everyday 4:00pm – 8:00pm at the Community Resource Centre 4752 Joyce Avenue


We offer free training and Naloxone kits to any individual or group interested in the qathet Regional District. Book yours today!

Harm Reduction

what we’re doing to keep each other safe. Where you can find supplies and local drug checking services.

Community Directory

 find all the people in the qathet area working to prevent overdoses

Events Calendar

community meetings and events happening now!

Get Involved

Are you interested in attending Community Action Team meetings? Do you have something to say or contribute to the team?

What’s Happening in our city

Our Community has lost far too many loved ones to overdose deaths that could have been prevented. The BC Coroners Service has indicated that Illicit drug overdose deaths started to increase in 2013 after Fentanyl, an opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, was detected in the illicit drug supply.

The provincial health officer declared a public health emergency on April 14, 2016 after Illicit drug toxicity deaths became the leading cause of death in BC in 2015. In September 2017 $322 million was allocated by the provincial government to save lives, end stigma and improve access to services for people with substance use disorders. The Overdose Emergency Response Centre was opened in December 2017 to mobilize local, regional and provincial resources through the Community Crisis Innovation fund.

Our local Community Action Team was established in September 2018 from this fund when Kathryn Colby was brought on by Lift Community Services to coordinate the team.

By December 2018, Fentanyl was detected in 87% of overdose deaths in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region. The majority of those who lost their lives were men between the ages of 30 and 59. Powell River and the qathet region was disproportionately affected. 

 In April 2019 the Community Action Team in collaboration with Tla’amin Nation, Moms Stop the Harm, BC Bereavement Hotline, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Vancouver Coastal Health hosted a series of family-led dialogues in Powell River. The first rural Overdose Prevention Site in the Vancouver Coastal Health region was opened shortly after in June 2019 in Powell River. Staffed with peers (people with lived or living experience with opioid use and injection drug use) who hold Street Degree certificates in advanced Overdose management, and coordinated by Nick Adair, a paramedic with BC ambulance.

2020 was one of the worst years to date for the overdose crisis due to supply shocks leaving the drug supply more toxic than ever,  social distancing measures leaving many using drugs using alone, increased feelings of isolation and anxiety, and interruptions or limitations in harm reduction and health services for people who use drugs. Increases in Overdose deaths and injuries were international and non discriminatory. Specifically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 5,148 apparent opioid toxicity deaths occurred (April- December 2020), which was a 89% increase from the same time period in 2019.

Powell River continues to have an increasing rate of illicit drug toxicity deaths. Powell River and the qathet region continues to respond with harm reduction based interventions. For supplies or information please visit one of 5 Care cupboards around the region, the new location of the OPS at the CRC or the new Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment Clinic. 

The qathet Community Action Team and Lift Community Services have been apart of cross regional collaboration and efforts to deliver services and solutions to harms related to the illicit toxic drug supply. 


Continue Reading

March scheduled in qathet region to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day

qathet region residents are being invited to join Moms Stop the Harm, SUSTAIN and the Powell River Community Action Team (PRCAT) for a peaceful march on International International Overdose Awareness Day.

Overdose prevention site opens in Powell River as drug crisis grows

The small city of Powell River has been one of the hardest hit by British Columbia's overdose crisis, prompting Vancouver Coastal Health to open its first overdose prevention site outside of Vancouver in the Sunshine Coast community on Thursday. Dr. Geoff McKee, a...

Agency reacts after news of drug bust at supportive housing complex

The executive director of Lift Community Services wants to spotlight the good work that supportive housing projects do across B.C. Stuart Clark is speaking out after news of the Powell River RCMP seizing drugs, cash, and weapons from a unit inside a supportive housing...

MLA Simons welcomes Community Action Team to Powell River to fight overdose crisis

Powell River – Powell River is one of 18 B.C. communities that are getting a Community Action Team (CAT) and dedicated funding as part of the Province’s escalated response to the overdose crisis. “The overdose crisis deeply affects families and communities across B.C....

Community action team in Powell River stays active during opioid crisis

Powell River’s multi-agency community action team (CAT) is busy helping with support and education to provide assistance during the opioid crisis. Kathryn Colby, manager of community development at Lift Community Services and CAT coordinator, outlined several...

Highlights from Thursday, February 4, 2021, City of Powell River Council Meeting

Council adopted the following resolution: That the City of Powell River request that the Government of Canada: Declare the overdose crisis a national public health emergency and fund appropriately; and further Seek input from the people most affected by this crisis...

Powell River Overdose Crisis Update Indicates Drop In Provincial Death Rate

Community had second highest per capita death rate in Vancouver Coastal Health regionPaul Galinski / Powell River PeakFEBRUARY 21, 2020 01:46 PM City of Powell River councillors have received an update on the city’s overdose crisis. At the committee of the whole...

Vancouver Coastal Health’s 1st overdose clinic outside of Vancouver opens its doors

Nick Wells CTV News VancouverPublished Thursday, July 4, 2019 5:01PM PDTLast Updated Thursday, July 4, 2019 9:22PM PDT Three years ago, Sean Treloar died from an overdose alone in the bathroom of a Powell River apartment. "He was looking for somewhere safe to use, he...

Grant to address sharps disposal

Powell River program will result in community cleanupPaul Galinski / Powell River PeakMARCH 13, 2020 02:30 PM A $25,000 grant has been received by City of Powell River as part of a provincial program to address the overdose crisis. Kathryn Colby, community development...

Overdose Prevention Site opens as Drug Crisis Grows

It's the 1st site opened by Vancouver Coastal Health outside of Vancouver.The Canadian PressPosted: Jul 05, 2019 12:07 PM PT | Last Updated: July 5, 2019 The small city of Powell River has been one of the hardest hit by British Columbia's overdose crisis, prompting...