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HomeNewsProvincialBC reports second-worst year for drug deaths since start of overdose crisis

BC reports second-worst year for drug deaths since start of overdose crisis

Toxic drugs continue to take lives across the province, as 2,272 deaths were reported in 2022.

It was a decrease provincially, with 34 fewer deaths than the previous year, but some areas saw an increase.

Record high rates were recorded in Northern Health, Interior Health, and Island Health.

“British Columbians across the province are continuing to experience tremendous harm and loss as a result of the province’s toxic illicit drug supply,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner in a release.

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“Our province continues to lose an average of six lives every day, and many more people experience serious health consequences as a result of the unpredictable, unregulated drug supply.”

There were 386 toxic drug deaths on Vancouver Island in 2022, making for 43.6 deaths per 100,000. Both south and central Vancouver Island recorded 159 deaths, and the North Island recorded 68.

Seventy per cent of last year’s deaths were people aged 30 to 59 and 79 per cent were male.

Drug toxicity deaths remain the leading cause of unnatural death in British Columbia.

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It’s more than motor-vehicle accidents, self-harm and homicides combined.

Since the public health emergency was declared in 2016, there have been 11,171 deaths attributed to drug toxicity.

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