BC’s Rate of Drug Toxicity Deaths Has Overtaken Ohio and Pennsylvania

published on September 29, 2021 by Jen St. Denis in The Tyee

The BC Coroners Service reported today that 184 people died of toxic drugs in July, making that month the deadliest this year.

It’s another troubling sign that British Columbia — which already has the deadliest drug toxicity problem in Canada — is on track to record even more deaths in 2021 than in 2020, when deaths began rising steeply as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

In 2021, an average of 172 people have died every month, up from 144 in 2020. So far, 1,204 people have died in 2021, compared to 1,734 in 2020. The per-capita rate has also ticked up, to 40 deaths per 100,000. That’s a higher rate of drug overdose death than in opioid-ravaged states like Ohio (38.3), Maryland (38.2) or Pennsylvania (35.6) — but not quite as dire as Delaware (48) or West Virginia (52.8).

In Vancouver Coastal Health, the rate is 47 deaths per 100,000, and it’s 46 per 100,000 in Northern Health…

View the full article