‘Does anyone care?’: B.C. overdose deaths hit record high for second consecutive month

The government must invest in a public-health approach to substance use that not only includes decriminalization, but also pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic drug supply
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Thursday, July 16, 2020

canada bc overdose deaths june2016This time, at least 175 people died. The victims include a soccer goalie who had just celebrated his 26th birthday, a cheerful young volunteer at an overdose prevention site, and a college graduate who aspired to become an addictions worker to help others through their struggles. June’s illicit drug overdose death toll set yet another B.C. record, surpassing May’s tally by four. “Extreme” fentanyl concentrations were detected in 15 per cent of deaths from April to June, compared with 8 per cent from January, 2019, to March, 2020, according to data released by the BC Coroners Service. At least 5,731 people have died since 2016, the year British Columbia declared a public-health emergency because of overdose deaths.