The overdose crisis in BC

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, BC’s provincial health officer declared a public health emergency in response to the rise in drug overdoses and deaths. Illicit drug deaths in BC have increased each year since 2012 and, by mid–2015, provincial rates of illicit drug deaths surpassed those seen in 1997–98 when a public health emergency in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was declared in response to an epidemic in HIV infection rates and illicit drug fatalities. This recent epidemic is characterized by the increasing proportion of deaths in which illicit fentanyl – an opioid substance - has been detected. Fentanyl was detected in 5% of illicit drug deaths in 2012 and this has increased annually reachi

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