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Over 1,600 lives lost to toxic drugs in last nine months in B.C.

At least 171 people died from drug toxicity in September, putting the province closer to 2,000 deaths for the second consecutive year.

From January to September, 1,644 lives were lost, the largest number ever recorded in the first nine months of a calendar year.

“British Columbians are continuing to suffer the tragic effects of a toxic and volatile drug supply, with almost six members of our communities dying each day,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner in a release.

“Both those who use drugs occasionally and those who are substance-dependent are at risk of sudden death from the unpredictable illicit market.”

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September was also the 24th consecutive month in which at least 150 deaths were reported.

According to the province, more than 10,300 people have been killed by drug poisoning since the public health emergency was declared in 2016.

In the Kootenays, there have been six deaths reported in Cranbrook from January to September, seven in Nelson, six in Castlegar, three in Grand Forks, one in Creston and one in Trail.

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