Fentanyl overdose crisis
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An average of over five people died per day in BC in August and September due to drug overdose.

According to a BC Coroners Service report, 333 lives were lost to suspected illicit drug toxicity in August and September 2021.

Now, the total number of British Columbians lost this year to a toxic drug supply is 1,534 – the most in the first nine months of a calendar year.

181 reported deaths in August and the 152 deaths reported in September are record numbers for those months.

Like previous months, fentanyl has been detected in 84% of all illicit toxicity deaths.
Carfentanil is detected in 137 deaths, which the BC Coroner reports is more than double the 65 deaths recorded in all of 2020.

71 per cent of those who have died as a result of suspected drug toxicity in 2021 were between 30 and 59, and 79 per cent were male.

The provincewide death rate stands at 39.4 per 100,000 residents, nearly double the rate in 2016 when the public health emergency into substance-related harms was first declared.

“Our province is in the sixth year of this public health emergency, and the death rate due to toxic drugs has never been higher,” Lapointe said.

“The Province’s application to the federal government to decriminalize possession of illicit drugs for personal use is an essential step to address the drug toxicity crisis.”

Last week, the BC government applied to Health Canada to decriminalize drug possession for individuals possessing small amounts of illegal substances.

See more: Canadians more concerned over opioid crisis after this past year (POLL)

The province said this move is to make the opioid crisis a public health issue rather than a criminal one.

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