198 people died from toxic illicit drugs in B.C. in January, coroner says | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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198 people died from toxic illicit drugs in B.C. in January, coroner says

A man draws an unknown illicit substance into a syringe before injecting it into his arm as people gather for a rally and march in Vancouver, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. Toxic drugs killed 198 people in British Columbia in January, adding to an unrelenting toll that has killed more than 14,000 people since a public health emergency was declared eight years ago.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VICTORIA - Toxic drugs killed 198 people in British Columbia in January, adding to an unrelenting toll that has killed more than 14,000 people since a public health emergency was declared eight years ago.

A statement from the BC Coroners Service says 70 per cent of January's deaths were of people aged 30 to 59, and more than three-quarters of them were male, both in line with previous data.

The number of deaths last month is 14 per cent cent lower than January last year, but still represents 42 people per 100,000 residents, or more than six deaths each day.

Illicit drug poisoning is B.C.'s number 1 killer for people aged 10 to 59, surpassing homicides, suicides, accidents and natural disease combined.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside says she understands the pain and urgency of the crisis and her government is building a system of care that offers support.

She says the latest budget commits $117 million for mental-health and substance-use services, funding on top of $1 billion over three years announced last year to strengthen and expand services.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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