BC’s drug overdose fatalities rise

A photo of drug overdose and prevention vigil by Maryland GovPics via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License).
Drug Overdose And Prevention Vigil by Maryland GovPics via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
Roy Hales - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 28-08-2020
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By Roy L Hales

A week ago, B.C.’s chief coroner, Lisa Lapointe, said “The number of people dying in B.C. due to an unsafe drug supply continues to surpass deaths due to homicides, motor vehicle accidents, suicide and COVID-19 combined.”

As of July 31, 909 British Columbians have died as a result of overdoses this year (COVID-19 took 195 lives during the same time period).There have been 92 overdose fatalities in Southern Vancouver Island and Victoria has the second highest number of drug overdose deaths in the province.

Drug overdose fatalities

Photo credit: Two syringes, powder and spoon on old wooden background by March Verch via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Regional impact

There were also 18 deaths in North Island this year and 141 fatalities  since 2016, the year BC declared there was a public health emergency.

While there are no local statistics available, there have been a number of drug related emergency calls in both Campbell River and Quadra Island. It is not known how many of these ended in fatalities.

“We are not immune from this. Many people either knew a victim, or know someone whose life has been impacted by a drug overdose fatality," Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson said.

Click here to access articles about drug overdoses on Cortes Currents: https://cortescurrents.ca/tag/drug-overdoses/