BC’s chief coroner says an average of nine people died every two days last year from illicit drug overdoses, leaving suffering and devastation in communities across the province.
Government figures show B-C had a record 914 deaths last year, almost 80 per cent more than the 510 deaths due to illicit drugs in 2015.
Data shows 49 people died in the north from overdoses in 2016, up from 25 in 2015.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says she knows people dependent on illicit drugs can’t just stop, but she’s urging them to take the drugs under the watch of someone with medical expertise or at least with a sober friend.
Health Minister Terry Lake says Ottawa should declare the overdose crisis a public-health emergency, adding it’s not just a provincial problem.
The province said today it plans to spend another 16 million dollars to beef up treatment services.