A report examining thousands of deaths linked to illicit drugs in BC says the province must act over the next 90 days to develop a policy that delivers a safer supply of drugs. (Photo - BC Govt.)
A report examining thousands of deaths linked to illicit drugs in BC says the province must act over the next 90 days to develop a policy that delivers a safer supply of drugs.
The death review panel report released by chief coroner Lisa Lapointe calls on the government, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Centre on Substance Use to find a way toward a safer supply, with measurable action taken over the next 30, 60 and 90 days.
The report looked at 6,000 deaths between August 2017 and July 2021 and found increasingly toxic drugs, coupled with a policy of prohibition, forces reliance on street drugs.
BC declared a public health emergency six years ago and nearly nine-thousand people have died since then, with the report saying the tainted supply is BC's leading cause of unnatural death, accounting for more fatalities than homicides, suicides, motor vehicle incidents, drownings and fire-related deaths combined.
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