The BC Coroners Service (BCCS) has released its latest monthly report on illicit drug toxicity deaths, colloquially known as overdose deaths.
In November 2020, there were 153 suspected overdoses deaths, which is a 89% increase over the number of deaths seen in November 2019 and a 7% decrease over the number of deaths seen in October, according to the report.
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Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, released a statement regarding this most recent report.
“Before the pandemic, my predecessor, Judy Darcy, along with our front-line partners, did hard work to start building a system that brought overdose deaths down for the first time since 2012,” she said.
“COVID-19 has set us back with a dramatic spike in drug toxicity. I am committed to building on our unrelenting response to the overdose crisis, finding new ways to separate people from the poisoned drug supply, building more treatment and recovery beds, and moving forward on decriminalization to reduce stigma.”
“Just as there are many paths into addiction and mental health challenges, there are also many paths out. People need options and they need our compassion.”