More than 1,000 people have died in B.C. from suspected drug toxicity in first half of 2021

published on August 31, 2021 by Tiffany Crawford in Vancouver Sun

Drug toxicity is now the leading cause of death for young people in British Columbia, according to the B.C. Coroners Service, which has recorded at least 1,011 overdose deaths in the first six months of 2021 — the worst first six months of a year ever.

B.C.’s chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said this is a tragic reminder that the tainted drug supply remains a significant ongoing threat to public health and safety, and called the lack of a swift, co-ordinated response to stop these preventable deaths “heartbreaking.”

The provincial government announced in July that it would become first province in Canada to permanently provide access to a safe drug supply, but it has been criticized for taking so long to achieve and not going far enough.

“The data released today highlights the immensity of this public health emergency and the need for a wide-scale response,” she said…

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