A decade-long study says young Indigenous drug users in British Columbia are 13 times more likely to die compared with other Canadians of the same age.
It says 610 Indigenous people who smoked or injected drugs between the ages of 14 and 30 were recruited for the study in Vancouver and Prince George.
The study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal today says 40 participants died during the research period between 2003 and 2014, and another 26 have died since then.
It was conducted by the Cedar Project Partnership of First Nations groups and researchers including those from the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern BC.
The study says overdose was the leading cause of the “alarming” death rate, followed by illness — mostly from H-I-V or hepatitis C — and suicide.
Researchers are calling for Indigenous young people to receive culturally based services and treatment to deal with issues often caused by historic trauma.
(The Canadian Press)