The Cariboo/Chilcotin region, which includes Williams Lake, has seen more illicit drug overdose deaths through August of this year than all of last year.
The BC Coroners Service says there have been 15 in the first 8 months of 2022, compared to 9 in all of 2021.
There were four suspected overdose deaths in Quesnel through August.
There were 11 in 2021.
And 100 Mile House has yet to record an illicit drug overdose death this year, and there were 6 in 2021.
Approximately 5.5 people per day on average lost their lives to an illicit drug overdose in August.
“The illicit drug market continues to pose immense risks to people across our province,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner. “People in communities across B.C. are continuing to lose friends, family members and colleagues to the unprecedented toxicity of the unregulated drug supply.”
There were 166 suspected illicit drug deaths in BC last month.
1,468 people have passed away from this public health emergency in BC so far in 2022.
Drug poisoning is the leading cause of unnatural death in B.C.
“The recent Coroners Service Death Review Panel highlighted the urgent need for the development of a provincial framework for safer supply distribution,” said Lapointe. “This measure, along with a governance framework that sets clear goals, targets and timeframes for reducing substance-related deaths, and the establishment of an evidence-based continuum of care for those experiencing problematic substance use, were identified as three key areas to address this public health crisis.”
The Coroners Service says more than 10,300 people have been killed by drug poisoning since the public health emergency was declared in 2016.