More comprehensive services required to curb B.C. drug deaths, doctor says

published on September 15, 2022 by Brieanna Charlebois in Toronto Star

VANCOUVER – Maria Rantanen did everything she could to stop her son from fatally overdosing, but it wasn’t enough.

Michael Rantanen died on July 15. He was 25 years old.

He was one of the 192 drug-related deaths British Columbia’s coroner recorded in July. The toll is a 31 per cent increase from June and equates to about 6.2 deaths a day.

“I hope we see behind those statistics that it’s really human beings who are dying in huge numbers. Six a day is just horrific,” Maria Rantanen said in an interview Thursday. “I can’t describe this feeling. It’s like a part of me has been ripped out.”

She said her son struggled with addiction for about six years and sought treatment several times. At the time of his death, she said Michael had a publicly funded mental health team, but those professionals were only available every few weeks…

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