New data from the BC Coroners Service shows the toxic drug crisis caused 13 more deaths in Northern Health in the month of October, with 10 of those occurring in Prince George.
So far in 2023, Northern Health has seen 157 toxic drug fatalities, 76 of which were in Prince George.
Northern Health also has the highest unregulated drug death rate among all the health authorities at 61.4 per 100,000 people, with Vancouver Coastal the next closest at 55.1.
The provincewide death rate for the year is 45 per 100,000 residents, the highest such number ever recorded.
A total of 2,039 British Columbians have died due to unregulated drugs in the first 10 months of 2023.
October was the 37th consecutive month in which at least 150 deaths are suspected to have been caused by the toxic-drug supply were reported to the BC Coroners Service.
The 189 lives lost in October equate to approximately 6.1 lives lost per day.
Toxicological testing confirms that the unregulated drug supply in the province remains dangerous and volatile.
Unregulated drug toxicity is the leading cause of death in British Columbia for people aged 10 to 59, accounting for more deaths than homicides, suicides, accidents and natural disease combined.
The lives of at least 13,317 British Columbians have been lost to unregulated drugs since the public-health emergency was first declared in April 2016.