For the 13th consecutive month, more than 190 people have died from the toxic and unregulated drug supply in B.C., according to the latest data from the province.
The BC Coroners Service said Tuesday (Aug. 29) that 198 people died in July due to the toxic drug crisis in the province. That’s roughly 6 deaths a day for the month.
The latest data comes just two days before International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31.
Between January and July 2023, at least 1,455 deaths were attributed to toxic drugs. It’s the largest number ever reported by the coroner in the first seven months of a calendar year.
The provincewide death rate is 46.2 people per 100,000 residents, but several health authoriries are seeing higher rates. In Vancouver Coastal, it’s 56.7 per 100,000, Island Heath is 52.4 Interior Health is 50.7 and Northern Health continues to report the highest rate at 59.8.
The province says unregulated drug toxicity is the leading cause of death in B.C. for people aged 10 to 59, accounting for more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents and natural diseases combined.
At least 12,739 people have died of overdoses since the public health emergency was declared in April 2016.