Minister’s statement on 179 lives lost to poisoned drugs in October
Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, has issued the following statement regarding the BC Coroners Service’s report on illicit drug toxicity deaths in October 2022:
“In October, we lost 179 people to the poisoned drug supply. The pain felt by those who have lost their loved ones to this public-health crisis is profound. My heart goes out to the families, friends and communities that are grieving these losses.
“Our government is expanding and evolving our response to this public-health emergency as we strive to stop the terrible loss of life to the poisoned drug supply. While we have been adding new treatment and recovery services, expanding overdose prevention and working to end stigma about addiction, the increasing illicit drug toxicity has taken more lives.
“Earlier this month, A New Tomorrow opened its doors in Kamloops and is offering publicly funded substance-use treatment for adults and youth. On Vancouver Island, Coastal Sage Healing Centre is welcoming women and non-binary people to its treatment centre, offering culturally safe and trauma-informed services. We know there is more work to do.
“We keep acting on expert advice and voices of people with lived and living experience. Later this week, we will release the Adult Substance Use System of Care Framework, which was one of the recommendations of the BC Coroners Service’s 2022 Death Review Panel: A Review of Illicit Drug Toxicity Deaths report. The framework was built on close collaboration and consultation with more than 300 partners and contributors across health and social sectors. It will guide the development of new models of substance-use care, where every person’s needs are met at every point of their recovery journey.”
For updated actions on the drug poisoning response, visit: