Toxic drugs killing more than 2 youths per month in B.C., data shows

Click to play video: 'Drug safety reform urged in BC schools following university student’s death'
Drug safety reform urged in BC schools following university student’s death
In response to the recent drug poisoning death at the University of Victoria, calls have been made for British Columbia to mandate CPR and naloxone training in high schools across the province. The death of 18-year-old in January has prompted her parents to urge the province to take action, deeming the tragedy preventable. Neetu Garcha reports that British Columbia is considering making CPR training mandatory in high school curriculums, following the example of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec – May 25, 2024

A report from the BC Coroners Service says 126 children and youth younger than 19 died from toxic drugs between 2019 and 2023.

That makes unregulated drug toxicity the leading cause of unnatural death for the age group over those five years.

The report says fentanyl or related drugs were detected in 83 per cent of the deaths, either alone or in combination with other substances.

Click to play video: 'Toxic drug crisis film showing'
Toxic drug crisis film showing

It says about two-thirds of those who died were receiving services offered through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, or had previously received them.

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About 60 per cent of those who died were aged 17 or 18, while just over half of those who died were females, in contrast to the general population where about eight in every 10 people killed by toxic drugs is male.

Since B.C. declared a public-health emergency in April 2016, at least 14,400 people in the province have died from toxic drugs.

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