First Nations Health Authority sees surge in overdose deaths since start of COVID-19 Pandemic

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a surge in overdose deaths, according to data released, Monday, by the First Nations Health Authority.

According to the First Nations Health Authority, suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths spiked between January and May this year, and during this period, 89 First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals lost their lives.

The Health Authority says this is a 93 percent increase in deaths compared to the same period last year.

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First Nations, Métis and Inuit people represent 3.4 percent of the province’s population yet accounted for a staggering 16 percent of all overdose deaths in B.C. from January to May of this year.

Additionally, the Health Authority says COVID-19 safety measures have disrupted the drug supply, making the current supply more toxic which in return, results in more deaths.

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