Illicit drug deaths within Northern Health region decrease in 2019 : BC Coroner’s Service
According to the BC Coroner’s Service, twenty people continue to die each week due to drug toxicity.
“Today in BC, three people will die of drug toxicity, three people died yesterday and it’s very likely that three will die tomorrow. By this time next week, twenty more people will die of drug toxicity,” said Lisa Lapointe, Chief Coroner who spoke about the public health emergency.
In the Northern Health Region, 55 fentanyl-detected deaths were recorded in 2019, which is down from 87 in 2018.
Prince George had 17 fentanyl-related deaths last year, a far reduction from the previous year’s mark of 46.
Across the province, there were 981 illicit drug deaths in 2019, that number is virtually identical to the 2016 total when the public health emergency was declared.
747 of them were men while 234 were women.
Lapointe highlighted a couple of tragic cases from the past year.
“Among those who died recently was a 42-year-old woman whose medical history included a mental health diagnosis and substance use disorder. She was found deceased in the living room of her home by her child, the toxicology report recognized mixed drug toxicity that included fentanyl and amphetamine.”
“A 30-year-old male was also found deceased in the bathroom of a local fast-food establishment, he had a diagnosed mental health history and a history of substance use disorders and the toxicology from the hospital found opioids, methamphetamine’s, and cocaine.”
The full release can be found here.