BC's chief coroner says the status quo of making illicit drugs a crime has been an abject and costly failure and officials have to admit it won't stop overdose deaths. (Photo - B.C. Govt.)
BC's chief coroner says the status quo of making illicit drugs a crime has been an abject and costly failure and officials have to admit it won't stop overdose deaths.
A coroner's report released today says 2,224 people died of suspected overdose deaths last year in BC, a jump of 26 per cent from the year before.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says making illicit drugs a crime has created chaos in communities, killed thousands across the country and made enormous profits for the drug trade.
She says it's hard to see why anyone would think it was an effective system because it has resulted in shame, fear and punishment, while targeting those who are most vulnerable.
Lapointe says provincial and federal government actions are needed immediately to decriminalize drugs, get more people a safe supply and give them greater access to drug treatment.
The coroner is finding more sedatives or benzodiazepines in testing those who died, and Lapointe says the opioid-reversing drug naloxone is less effective, which means more people will die.
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