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B.C. to release latest overdose death figures after record set in June

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s chief coroner is scheduled to release the latest details on overdose deaths related to illicit drugs today after the province set a monthly record for fatalities in June.

Lisa Lapointe is being joined by provincial health Dr. Bonnie Henry in releasing the figures to the end of July along with officials from BC Emergency Health Services and the BC Centre on Substance Use.

The province recorded 175 fatalities in June, surpassing the previous high of 171 deaths in May.

There were 219 deaths in the first three months of 2016 when a public health emergency was declared by the provincial government.

About 5,000 people in British Columbia have died of illicit-drug overdoses since then.

Last month, Premier John Horgan called for a national plan to help stem the overdose crisis as he backed the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in calling for the possession of small amounts of illegal drugs to be decriminalized.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press


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