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Health News – Fraser Health finds increase in drug toxicity deaths in young adults, women and South Asian men

Health News – Fraser Health finds increase in drug toxicity deaths in young adults, women and South Asian men

Health News –

A new report released by the Fraser Health Authority finds an increase in drug toxicity deaths in young adults, women and South Asian men.

The report, which included a review of the medical charts of 105 people who had died of an illicit drug death in 2017 and 2018, found the death rate for adults between the ages of 19 and 29 in the region increased from 26.4 per 100,000 in 2016 to 43.2 in 2018.

The average age of women analyzed in the report was 40. Two-thirds were mothers.






Dr. Bonnie Henry’s emotional response to B.C.’s record-breaking drug overdose numbers in May


Dr. Bonnie Henry’s emotional response to B.C.’s record-breaking drug overdose numbers in May

The number of deaths among South Asian people increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018 — nearly double the increase among the rest of the population, the report said. Two-thirds of people who died were under the age of 40.

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Fraser Health chief medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie said part of the agency’s response will include more Punjabi-language resources, and outreach programs that connect South Asian volunteers with lived experience to peers in the community.

The report, released Friday, comes after the province reported 170 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in May. It’s the highest monthly total ever recorded in B.C. and equates to about 5.5 deaths a day.






Highest monthly number of overdose deaths recorded in B.C.


Highest monthly number of overdose deaths recorded in B.C.

Lavoie said the recent spike in overdoses appears to be connected to increased toxicity of drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have put multiple measures in place, including measures at the border, and we believe the changes there have disrupted the supply chains of drugs,” he said. “So we’re also seeing an increase in toxicity — the level of fentanyl in particular — in the drugs circulating on the street.”

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— With files from Amy Judd

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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