Horgan must finally prioritize overdose crisis as it continues to worsen: BC Liberals

THE BC Liberals said on Tuesday that the delayed updated illicit drug overdose report by the Coroners Service reveals the deepening overdose crisis in B.C., reporting another staggering month of overdose deaths which have sadly become the norm, the BC Liberals

“Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, we pause and reflect on the 1,011 overdose deaths recorded so far in 2021 – and tragically the highest ever recorded in the first six months of the year,” said Trevor Halford, BC Liberal Critic for Mental Health and Addictions.

“What is clear is that the overdose crisis continues to worsen while no substantive action is taken by [Premier] John Horgan and the NDP to prevent further tragedy. In fact, we are only finally seeing this June report now because of the NDP’s mishandling of the heatwave in B.C., which created a backlog for the coroner’s office and pushed the overdose crisis to the backburner for government once again.”

On May 14, the Official Opposition wrote to the Premier asking for the Select Standing Committee on Health to be activated, so all parties could work on immediate actions to prevent further tragedy. The Premier has yet to respond to the request.

“While the Premier spent the summer ‘giddy’ with excitement, his NDP government failed to take meaningful action to help end the cycle of addiction and save lives,” said Halford. “People in our province need access to a full continuum of care, where affordable treatment and recovery options are available. How many years will British Columbians have to wait for John Horgan to finally act?”

In June 2021, B.C. recorded 159 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths, with 5.3 people lost to overdose every day, the BC Liberals noted.