‘Why would the numbers be lower?’: Advocate says B.C. toxic drug deaths will continue without gov’t action

published on June 1, 2021 by Lisa Steacy in CityNews (News 1130)

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Leslie McBain is heartbroken but not surprised that 176 people in B.C. died from toxic, illicit drugs in April, saying deaths will continue to set devastating records until the province changes its response.

On Tuesday, the BC Coroners Service announced one of the highest monthly totals of lives lost since B.C. declared a public health emergency in 2016. April of 2020 was the fourteenth straight month in which more than 100 people in the province died.

“My reaction is the same as every month for five years. I’m not surprised. I’m always heartbroken by the numbers. Every time, every month they come out, I can just feel it in my bones the grief that rolls out from, from all these deaths,” says McBain, the co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm and an advisor to the British Columbia Center on Substance Abuse.

“I’m not surprised by these numbers. The government of British Columbia has not changed anything. So why would the numbers be lower? Why would they be any different? It’s frustrating, it’s heartbreaking.”…

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