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Second deadliest month ever recorded as overdose crisis deepens

Second deadliest month ever recorded as overdose crisis deepens

SURREY (September 29, 2021) — As John Horgan cuts funding for life-saving naloxone kits, the latest illicit drug overdose report by the Coroners Service reveals the intensifying crisis with another tragic month of overdose deaths.

“It’s incredibly disheartening that month-after-month, B.C. continues to report record-breaking overdose deaths — with July 2021 now the second deadliest month for overdoses in B.C.’s history. Yet despite the situation across the province getting worse, we simply don’t see any urgency from the NDP on this file,” said Trevor Halford, BC Liberal Critic for Mental Health and Addictions. “Just last week we found out John Horgan cut funding to naloxone kits, which are essential for front-line emergency responders during this crisis. While the NDP keep trying to say this public health emergency is a top priority, their actions show otherwise.”

Last week MLA Halford wrote to Premier Horgan calling for the funding for the life-saving naloxone kits to be restored to police departments — and for months he has been calling for the Select Standing Committee on Health to be activated, so that all parties can work together on immediate actions to prevent further tragedy. The Premier has yet to respond directly to either request.

“Too many people continue to lose their lives to this crisis. It’s clear more action needs to be taken to meaningfully address this emergency and save lives,” said Halford. “The NDP needs to urgently commit to a plan for a comprehensive mental health and addictions system — one that isn’t just reactionary or offering services that are too little too late. How much longer will people in our province have to wait for John Horgan to take this worsening crisis seriously?”

In July 2021, B.C. saw the second largest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths ever recorded, with 184 deaths, or 5.9 people lost to overdose every day.

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