Nearly 600 people died from toxic drugs in B.C. in first 3 months of the year: coroners’ service – CBC

71% of those who died were aged 30-59, 77% were male; 197 lives lost to drug toxicity in March alone

Apr 18, 2023

Almost 600 people in British Columbia died in the first three months of 2023 because of the toxic drug supply, according to preliminary data released by the B.C. Coroners Service on Tuesday.

The toll of 596 deaths is the second highest number recorded for January to February since a public health emergency was declared in 2016 due to the crisis. The same period last year saw 599 deaths.

The latest figures released by the coroners’ service show illicit toxic drugs claimed 177 lives in February and 197 in March.

“This is a crisis of incomprehensible scale, and I extend my deepest condolences to everyone who has experienced the loss of someone they loved,” said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe in a statement Tuesday.

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