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176 BC Deaths to Illegal Drugs in April – 14th Consecutive Months of 100+ OD Deaths in the Province

Victoria – Preliminary reporting released by the BC Coroners Service confirms at least 176 British Columbians were lost to toxic illicit drugs in April, bringing the total number of deaths recorded in 2021 to 680.

The 176 lives lost are a record for the month of April and represent a 43% increase over the number of deaths reported in April 2020. This is the 14th consecutive month in which more than 100 British Columbians have died from suspected illicit drug toxicity and raises the provincial rate of deaths for 2021 to 39.3 per 100,000 residents.

The Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health authorities have accounted for 61% of suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in British Columbia in 2021.

“Once again, we’re reminded that the scale of this public health emergency is truly unprecedented,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.

Additional key preliminary findings are below. Data are subject to change:

  • The number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in April 2021 was about 5.9 deaths per day.
  • Males accounted for 79% of deaths in 2021.
  • In 2021, 70% of those dying were aged 30 to 59.
  • The proportion of deaths of those 50 years of age and older has steadily increased over the past six years. In 2021, 39% of deaths have been 50 years or over.
  • No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

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