The BC Coroner Service released the number of drug deaths in March and it’s not good news.
February had seen a bit of a decline, with 102 deaths (still an almost unbelievable number), but March saw a spike to 161 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in the province. That’s the second highest monthly total to date, the Coroner Service tells us.
As you let those numbers sink in, consider that fentanyl was detected in more than eight in every 10 of those deaths. And that seven in every 10 of those who died was between 19 years old and 49.
Fentanyl is cutting a deadly swath through our adult population.
There’s simply no denying it. Our drug strategies are not working. The death toll only continues to rise, seemingly with no end in sight.
Not all communities, of course, have seen anywhere near the number of deaths experienced in the City of Vancouver, but we shouldn’t be complacent.
Is it finally time to decriminalize simple possession of all drugs (not trafficking, production and the like), and treat addiction like the health crisis it is?
We need to try something new.