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B.C. Overdoses Just Broke Another Deadly Record

Vancouver B.C Overdoses

Photo: Brian Kushniruk / Flickr

B.C. has been seeing an increase in overdose deaths, but June has made the record for the most in provincial history.

The BC Coroners Service reported, Thursday, that June saw 175 deaths related to illicit substances. It surpasses the previous high of 171 deaths in May.

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“͞For the second month in a row, this province has experienced the highest number of deaths ever as a result of illicit substances with 175 lives lost, leaving behind grief and frustration while this public health emergency carries on into its fifth year,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner of BC Coroners Service. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people who use drugs, as it has all British Columbians. Access to key harm reduction services has been a challenge and our social networks are smaller.”


This is the fourth consecutive month the province has seen more than 100 illicit drug toxicity deaths.

June’s rate represents a 130% increase over the number of deaths in June 2019. The previous record was 161 deaths in December 2016.

The province has seen 728 lives lost due to overdoses in 2020 alone. B.C. first declared a public health emergency due to the overdose deaths in April 2016.

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