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Over a thousand dead from toxic drugs in province

Over 1,000 people have died in the province due to unregulated drugs in the first five months of this year.

That’s from a recent report by BC Coroners Service, which found that fentanyl continues to drive the toxic drug crisis, with 1,018 lives lost between January and May.

That number is a 2.9 percent increase over the number of deaths that were reported during the same time period last year, with 176 of those deaths from last month showing a 19 percent decrease from the 218 deaths from April.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe says they know young people are not immune from the dangers of this crisis.

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“In responding to this health crisis, it is critically important that we heed the recommendations of experts and ensure a robust system of care that includes increased access to timely, evidence-based treatment and recovery services,” says Lapointe.

“A public-health crisis of this magnitude demands a comprehensive response that meets people where they are and provides the services they need to survive.”

The coroners service also released a report on the number of drug deaths among younger people, which found that 142 of the 10,453 deaths between 2017 and last year were of people under the age of 19.

Since the toxic drug crisis was declared a public health emergency in 2016, over 12,260 residents across the province have died.

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