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Two more lives lost in Richmond due to toxic drugs

Forty-seven per cent of drug-poisoning deaths in B.C. happened in private residences.
A rally was held in Richmond earlier this year to bring awareness to the toxic drug crisis. Purple flags were placed to represent all the people who have died.

Another two people died in Richmond in June due to toxic drugs.

This follows a trend with two people having died every month so far this year in Richmond, bringing the total to 12 lives lost.

The BC Coroners Service released its statistics for June on Tuesday showing a total of 184 people died of drug poisonings across B.C., which equates to 6.1 people every day.

Of the deaths across the province, 81 per cent took place indoors – 47 per cent in private residences, 34 per cent in other types of housing such as shelters and single-occupancy residences. Eighteen per cent died outside.

It has been more than seven years since the province declared a public health emergency because of the number of people dying of toxic drugs.

The province is slowly expanding its prescription safe supply program, which gives people using illicit substances the ability to access medical-grade opiates.

The coroner noted there is “no indication that prescribed safer supply is contributing to unregulated drug deaths.”

The coroners services also noted fentanyl was present in 84 per cent of drug toxicity deaths this year.