SURREY (November 7, 2022) – Trevor Halford, Official Opposition Critic for Mental Health and Addictions, has released the following statement on the BC Coroners Service’s report on illicit drug toxicity deaths for September 2022:
“As this tragic crisis continues unabated in our province, I first and foremost send my condolences to the families and loved ones of the 171 people who tragically lost their lives to toxic drugs in September.
“Despite this crisis being declared a public health emergency more than six years ago, the situation only continues to worsen.
“The recent Select Standing Committee on Health’s report, Closing Gaps, Reducing Barriers, highlighted just how broken the current patchwork approach to mental health and addictions is in British Columbia, punctuated by the statistics that over 70 per cent of people who died of a toxic drug overdose had been in contact with the medical system in some way within three months of their death.
“Furthermore, it’s concerning to learn the Coroner’s Illicit Drug Toxicity Type of Drug Data Report will no longer be reported monthly and will be moving to a quarterly basis. The crisis in our province is as urgent as ever and now is not the time to let our foot off the pedal in this public health emergency.
“There are actionable solutions waiting for this NDP government, yet this Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and her government continue to fail to take the necessary steps to finally fix the patchwork approach that is currently allowing too many to fall through the cracks.
“Once and for all, it’s time for action. Lives must be saved.”