2,500 days. 11,098 deaths. Welcome to the forever emergency.

published on February 14, 2023 by V. S. Wells in Georgia Straight

Karen Ward is exhausted.

“The fact is, after 2,500 days of this, the people who are actually trying to work on the so-called front lines here are falling apart,” she says. The long-time drug policy advisor and anti-poverty advocate speaks so fast that it feels like the words tumble out of her.

“God—the fact that it’s still an emergency. This is just destroying people. This is grinding people down. This is ruining lives of people who are surviving. Certainly, it’s crushed me.”

We’re speaking the day that the BC Coroners Service has announced the poisoned drugs death toll for 2022: 2,272 deaths across the province. That’s 2,272 lives cut short, and countless thousands more who are now left to wrestle with the reality that their coworker, their kid, their parent, their friend, is gone: killed by the unregulated toxic soup that circulates on the illicit market. And it was only the second deadliest year on record…

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