BC Coroner Reports Increase in Overdose Fatalities in 2020
Photograph by Michael Longmire
BC’s coroner says there has been a substantial increase in fatal drug overdoses so far this year.
The Coroners Service released statistics showing more than one-hundred overdose deaths in March, and then again in April.
The last time the province had back-to-back months with over one-hundred fatal overdoses each was in late 2018.
One-hundred-and-12 people died from drug toxicity in March and another 117 in April.
The number of fatal overdoses in April is a 39-percent increase over the same month last year.
So far in 2020, there have been 382 fatal drug overdoses.
Seventy-one percent of those who died were between 19 and 49 years old and nearly 80-percent were men.
Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe says illicit drug toxicity death rates in the province remain the highest in Canada.
Lapointe says: “We remain in a public health emergency, with more than three British Columbians dying each day from illicit drub toxicity deaths.”
She adds that every region in the province has been impacted.
No overdose deaths were reported at any of the province’s supervised consumption sites.