Deadly April inflames drug debate. Does B.C. need more safe supply, or less?

published on May 18, 2023 by Simon Little in Global News

At least 206 people died of toxic drugs in April, according to the latest data from the BC Coroners Service, adding fuel to the debate over how to handle the province’s deadly drug crisis.

The latest numbers show at least 814 drug deaths in the first four months of the year, with fentanyl detected in about eighty per cent of the fatalities.

“This drug poisoning crisis is the direct result of an unregulated drug market. Members of our communities are dying because non-prescribed, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is poisoning them on an unprecedented scale,” Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said.

The numbers arrive as drug use — and in particular, the issue of safer supply and prescribing tested drugs to people with addictions — has taken centre stage as an explosive political issue in B.C…

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