An update on the number of drug-related fatalities in B.C.
Lisa Lapointe is with the BC Coroners Office.
“I can say at this point there is little good news to share. The number of fatalities in August was down, a little from the month before, 49 deaths as opposed to 55. However, 488 people have died in BC as of the end of August as a result of illicit drug use.”
That’s a 62 per cent spike over the same time last year.
Opioid fentanyl is involved in many of these deaths.
New awareness campaign features mother who lost son to overdose
BC Health Minister Terry Lake and Solicitor General Mike Morris tell reporters in a joint media conference that the government is launching a public awareness campaign and saying the fentanyl response drug Naloxone is being deregulated for emergency use.
Also Leslie McBain told reporters that before her son Jordan died of an overdose in 2014 she, like many parents, did not know anything about addiction, overdoses, or recovery.
“I now know that addiction is very powerful and very complex.”
“And I know that the wish, or desire or the need to take a drug, or to try a drug is not necessarily a simple decision.”
Solicitor General Mike Morris says police are finding traces of fentanyl in every drug they find on the street.
“We can’t arrest our way out of this situation.”
Latest Insite drug statistics
The latest Insite drug checking statistics for the period of July 7 – Sept. 8, 2016 show 332 checks – 85 per cent of those of ‘heroin or mixture of heroin’ reported to be positive for fentanyl.
The overall positivity rate (for all drugs checked) was 80.2 per cent.
From January to July there were a total of 264 deaths in which fentanyl was detected, about 60 per cent of all illicit drug deaths.