Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, has released the following statement regarding the BC Coroners Service’s report on illicit drug toxicity deaths for May 2022:
“A devastating 195 people lost their lives to the poisoned drug supply in May. I’m grateful to everyone on the front lines of this public health crisis for their extraordinary efforts. Without them, B.C. would have lost more lives.
“The early months of 2022 saw a decrease in toxic drug deaths, but despite unprecedented work to turn the tide on the crisis, this trend tragically did not continue in May.
“Six people a day are dying due to the toxic drug crisis in this province and it’s nothing short of tragic. But it’s the reason we must persevere and continue the vital work of reducing the risk of toxic drug poisonings and saving lives.
“Part of that work includes building a comprehensive and seamless continuum of mental health and addictions care that works for all British Columbians. Our government is urgently working to build and fund that system – a system that includes treatment and recovery options in every part of B.C., such as the new sobering and assessment centre in Prince George, which will open in the fall, and the new Rapid Access to Addiction Care Clinic that just opened in Abbotsford.
“We are deepening our investment in people and innovative solutions to turn this crisis around, such as leading the country on prescribed safe supply and decriminalizing people who use drugs. We know there is much more to do, and we won’t stop working until we finally put an end to this terrible crisis.”
For a factsheet on updated actions on the drug poisoning response, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/escalated-drug-poisoning-response-actions-1