Image: Two boxes of tested and labeled heroin, distributed by the Drug User Liberation Front, and a microphone rest on a mixing board. (Photo: Garth Mullins)

Episode 29: Resign

2,224 people died of toxic drug overdose in BC in 2021, says the Chief Coroner. How many months of fatal OD statistics have we seen since 2016? Fifty? Sixty? How many health and addictions ministers have passed through our lives as those numbers got bigger, only to move on after a few years? Enough. Politicians must face the music after another year of record-breaking overdose deaths. Since there’s no change, there must be consequences. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson and Minister of Health Adrian Dix must resign.

  Press Releases

BC Association of People on Opiate Maintenance (BCAPOM), the Drug User Liberation Front (DULF), and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU): BCAPOM and DULF Release 2021 Overdose Stats and Distribute a Safe Supply of Drugs (February 8, 2022)

BC Coroners Service: More than 2,200 British Columbians lost to illicit drugs in 2021 (February 9, 2022)

BC Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions: Minister’s, PHO statement on lives lost to poisoned drugs in 2021 (February 9, 2022)

BCAPOM and DULF: Drug user activists commemorate 2021 overdose deaths by distributing a safer supply of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine (February 9, 2022)

BCAPOM and DULF: Press Conference on 2021 Coroner’s Report [Video] (February 9, 2022)

  Policy Recommendations

  1. All levels of government must immediately fund programs for safe and accessible supplies of all drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth, by directly listening to user groups and people who use drugs, and covering these drugs under Provincial Health Insurance by adding them to the formularies, or allow us to create routes of access ourselves.
  2. All levels of government must immediately develop an accessible legal framework that decriminalizes, licenses, funds, and provides facility spaces for heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine compassion clubs.
  3. All government commissions on drug policy, safe supply, and decriminalization must include meaningful representation from drug user groups. Nothing about us without us.


Crackdown is produced on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Special thanks to Alex Betsos for help with research.

We make this podcast with funds from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. And from our Patreon supporters.

Our editorial board is: Samona Marsh, Shelda Kastor, Greg Fess, Jeff Louden, Dean Wilson, Laura Shaver, Reija Jean. Rest in Peace Dave Murray and Chereece Keewatin.

This episode was conceptualized, written, and produced by Sam Fenn, Alexander Kim, Alex de Boer, Ryan McNeil, Lisa Hale, and Garth Mullins.

Sound design by Alexander Kim.

Original score was written and performed by Garth Mullins, James Ash, Sam Fenn, and Kai Paulson.

Patreon link: You can find a complete transcript for today’s show, as well as photographs and links to further readings, at While there, consider giving us a few bucks. It helps a lot.

Stay safe. Keep six.