Drug overdoses take over as the leading cause of unnatural death in BC

Jun 10 2016, 4:06 am

With the Fentanyl crisis continuing and a new far more potent drug rearing its head Heath officials are sounding the alarm about overdose deaths.

BC’s Chief Coroner Lisa LaPointe says overdose deaths have skyrocketed and she puts that into context

“For example, last year there were 300 deaths in motor vehicle incidents, and this year, as the Minister said, we’ve had 308 deaths already from illicit drug overdoses. And if this trend were to continue, we’d be looking at about 750 deaths this year. So it’s hugely significant. The number of people dying from illicit drug overdoses is higher than any other unnatural category.”

Health minister Terry Lake is hopeful the numbers of overdosed have leveled off he admits more help like supervised injection sites are needed.

He says he has written the federal government to allow for more safe injection sites to be set up.

“Vancouver Coastal Health is looking at five new safe consumption sites. I have written a letter to Minister Philpott asking her to reconsider Bill C-2, the Respect for Safe Communities Act and reduce the barriers to the opening of safe consumption sites.”

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe says the number of overdose deaths has surpassed car crash deaths in BC.

Lapointe says OD’s might exceed 700 deaths this year.

The Coroner’s Service says there have been 25 fentanyl related deaths in the Interior in the first four months of 2016, with 10 in Kelowna and two in Vernon.

Originally reported on CKNW.com.


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