Record-numbers of British Columbians continue to die from illicit drug poisonings, according to preliminary data from the B.C. Coroners Service.
Between January 2020 to April 2021, 2,403 people have fatally overdosed across the province.
Last year, a sudden flurry of fatalities in Revelstoke landed us on the list of cities with the highest per capita rate for overdose deaths in B.C. While our community is no longer on the list, five people have died in Revelstoke from illicit drug poisonings between January 2020 to April 2021.
“I offer my heartfelt condolences to every family in the province that is experiencing the unimaginable pain of sudden and unexpected loss,” chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement June 1.
At least 176 people fatally overdosed this April across B.C. — that’s 43 per cent higher than in April 2020.
The pandemic, while forcing many inside to use alone, has also led to an increased toxicity among street drugs.
“We know that substance use disorder is a complex health issue, and those experiencing it need meaningful and compassionate services and supports,” Lapointe said.
“Far too often, we hear from families who have lost a loved one that no help was available despite desperate searches over months or years. It is critical that harm reduction services, including safe supply, are accessible where and when people need them, and that recovery services are evidence based and accountable.”
There is a list of health and community services available at revelstokelife.ca
Community Connections: 250-837-2920 or email@example.com
Revelstoke Mental Health and Substance Use: 250-814-2241
BC Crisis Line: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
Revelstoke Women’s Shelter: 250-837-1111
Revelstoke Alcoholics Anonymous: 250-837-1958
With files by Ashley Wadhwani