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Canadian News Nov 10, 2021 10:49 AM EST

BC overdose deaths highest ever recorded, fatalities up 24 percent

The vast majority of these deaths were men over 50 in high-density centres throughout the province.

BC overdose deaths highest ever recorded, fatalities up 24 percent
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC

Drugs overdoses in British Columbia are continuing to rise with coroners saying that deaths are up 24 percent, according to Blacklock's Reporter.

1,534 people have died in BC from drug overdoses in a period from January to September of this year. This is the highest rate ever recorded. The vast majority of these deaths were men over 50 in high-density centres throughout the province.

These deaths were usually related to cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine. The coroner's report stated that "post-mortem toxicology results suggest there has been a greater number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations in April to August compared with previous months."

In response to this, BC's provincial government and the city of Vancouver have lobbied the Trudeau government to decriminalize possession of these drugs.

"An increasing number of stakeholders are saying criminalizing personal drug possession is hurting not helping," said a report on overdoses. The province has asked the federal health department to consider decriminalizing possession of heroin and cocaine.

In a report conducted by the federal government, officials noted that "the Government of Canada recognizes the overdose crisis is one of the most serious and unprecedented public health threats in Canada’s recent history."

"We have lost too many Canadians to drug overdoses," they added.

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