Naloxone and the Toxic Drug Crisis

Dear KFA Colleagues,

The toxic drug crisis was declared a public health emergency in 2016. Since then, there have been over 40,000 drug overdose deaths across Canada – about 14,000 of these in BC. In 2023, 2511 people died of a drug overdose in BC.

This is an issue that affects faculty and students at universities and colleges. Sadly, in January, a University of Victoria student died on campus due to fentanyl poisoning and those with her were not equipped to administer life-saving naloxone.

Faculty who are interested in learning more about how to use naloxone can become certified by taking a short 1-hour course. Naloxone can be accessed at pharmacies across BC and/or through Take Home Naloxone programs (see

The KFA has advocated on this issue with the Employer in our Labour Management Relations Committee, and we are exploring the possibility of participating in the Facility Overdose Response Box (FORB) program. We will keep members updated.

The KFA thanks faculty member Dr. Alicia Horton in providing the information contained in this message, and we also thank the Departments of Sociology and Criminology for their advocacy with the KFA on this matter.

On behalf of the KFA Executive,

Mark Diotte, President, KFA