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198 people died in B.C. in July due to toxic drug poisonings

The latest data comes just 2 days before International Overdose Awareness Day
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People march along Powell Street in Vancouver on April 14, 2023 during an event to mark the seventh anniversary of the toxic drug crisis in B.C. The province said Aug. 23, 2023 that at least 198 people died in July due to toxic drug poisonings and there have been 1,455 deaths in the first seven months of the year. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

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.


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lauren.collins@blackpress.ca

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Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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