British Columbia has witnessed in march and April, a significant rebound in the number of deaths due to the crisis of opiates, which corresponds to the arrival of the pandemic COVID-19 in the country.
In total, 112 people in march and 117 in April have lost their lives as a result of a drug overdose, up from 75 in February. In comparison, 117 deaths had been reported in march 2019 and 84 in April. This is the first time since November and December 2018 that more than 100 deaths are recorded during two consecutive months.
The rate of deaths linked to fentanyl has not been revealed, but in 2019, this opiate synthetic 100 times stronger that morphine had been found in the bodies of 85 % of the victims, a rate steadily increasing.
The coroner’s Office of British Columbia has not alluded to the COVID-19 unveiling the new data. The critical liberal in the area of mental health and addiction, Jane Thornwaite, however, did not hesitate to establish a link between the pandemic and the recovery of the crisis of opioid.
“The COVID-19 made it so that more people consume [drugs] alone, without the same support around them, so that fewer people have been able to have access to services that can save their life, such as nalaxone,” said Ms. Thornwaite by issuing a press release referring to a substance used as an antidote to overdose of opiates.
“While the support services were always available for those in need, during the COVID-19, several felt uncomfortable asking for help and, unfortunately, we see the result with the increase of deaths,” said the opposition member of the provincial.
British Columbia has identified 978 deaths due to overdose in the year 2019, a number in sharp decline compared to the 1544 enumerated in 2018 and 1495 accumulated in 2017.