Many people are struggling with addictions and have been for a long time.
In 2019, APTN News brought you the story of a young woman struggling with addictions and trying to survive on the streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
According to the B.C. Coroner Lisa Lapointe, illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia are second only to cancers in shortening the lives of residents to an average age of 44, prompting a call from her to let go of old prevention measures that have been “an abject and very costly failure.”
Lapointe said 2,224 suspected overdose deaths were recorded in the province in 2021, a 26 per cent rise over the previous year. There were 215 deaths in December, five more than in November.
“It is with tremendous sadness, that I report that our province is in a worse place than it has ever been in this drug toxicity crisis,” Lapointe told a news conference Wednesday.
B.C. declared a public health emergency in 2016 when the powerful opioid fentanyl began showing up in deaths. Since then more than 8,800 residents have died from illicit drug overdoses.