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New report shows 177 lives lost to toxic drugs in February

BC’s toxic drug crisis claimed an average of six lives a day from overdoses in February.

The BC Coroners Service says 177 people died using illicit drugs province-wide – a 12 percent decline from the number reported in January, and an 11 percent decrease from the number in February last year.

For health authorities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Coastal Health saw the highest death rates at 96, while Island Health saw 85.

By health service delivery area, the highest death rates were recorded on North Vancouver Island at 21 and Central Vancouver Island at 43.

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Unregulated drug toxicity is now the leading cause of death in BC for people aged 10 to 59, accounting for more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents and, natural disease combined.

More than 14-thousand people have been lost since the public health emergency was first declared in April 2016.

Files from Mike Patterson, Vista Radio Staff

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