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Over half of June illicit drug deaths in Northern Health occur in PG

Nearly five people per day in BC lost their lives to an illicit drug overdose in June.

According to data released by the Coroners Service this morning (Tuesday), 146 people passed away due to the drug toxicity crisis.

Northern Health saw 11 illicit drug deaths in June with six of those taking place in Prince George.

So far this year, our health authority has seen 81 fatalities with 35 of them in the northern capital.

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PG has the seventh-highest number of overdose deaths by city, trailing only Vancouver (258), Surrey (116), Greater Victoria (80), Abbotsford (48), Kamloops (47), and Kelowna (38).

In addition, Northern Health has the highest drug toxicity death rate among all the health authorities at 52.9 per 100,000 people.

Since January of 2021, our health authority documented 235 substance-related deaths equating to 13 per month – outpacing the Greater Victoria area, which only saw 219 fatalities over the same time period.

In terms of Health Service Delivery Area, the Northern Interior, which includes PG-Quesnel-Burns Lake and the Robson Valley has the third-highest drug toxicity death rate of 58.1– only Vancouver (70.6) and Thompson Cariboo (62.3) ranked higher.

The Coroners Service noted 73% of those dying so far in 2022 are between the ages of 30 and 59.

1,095 people have passed away province-wide. BC posted a record 2,264 drug overdose deaths in 2021.

No fatalities were reported at supervised consumption or drug prevention sites.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe along with several dignitaries will be addressing the media this morning on the most recent numbers in Victoria.

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