Skip to content

Toxic drugs claim another life in Richmond

Fifteen people have died so far this year of toxic drugs.
A purple chair with rocks commemorating lives lost to toxic drugs was set up by a community member near the concessions stand at Garry Point Park. Vikki Hui photo

Another person died in Richmond of a suspected toxic drug poisoning in August.

This brings the total number of people who have died this year in Richmond from toxic drugs to 15.

Across the province, 174 people died in August of drug poisonings, according to the latest report from the BC Coroners Service which released its monthly statistics on Monday.

Eighty per cent of deaths occurred indoors, of which 48 per cent were in private residences while 32 per cent were in other indoor settings such as shelters, SROs and supportive housing buildings.

According to Richmond Fire-Rescue, in July, they responded to 25 overdoses and/or poisonings (August statistics haven’t been made public yet).

Seventeen of these calls were outdoors, and eight were in a commercial property or residence.

Of the overdose and poisoning calls attended to by Richmond Fire-Rescue, seven were due to opioids, five were because of other miscellaneous drugs, two were due to alcohol and 11 are unknown as BC Ambulance was on scene.

So far this year, preliminary data shows more than 1,600 people in B.C. have died due to toxic, unregulated drugs.

“We are continuing to lose members of our communities in heartbreaking numbers as a result of the toxicity of the illicit drug market,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.

“No town, neighbourhood or family is immune from this crisis and as the years of this public-health emergency go by, more and more British Columbians are experiencing the devastating loss of a friend, colleague or family member to the illicit-drug supply.”