Eby responds to BC Coroners report on youth deaths from toxic drugs

The Premier of British Columbia responded to a recent BC Coroners Service report which showed how the toxic drug crisis is affecting the province’s youth.

On Tuesday, the BC Coroners Service (BCCS) said 126 people under the age of 19-years-old were killed by the toxic unregulated drug supply between 2019 and 2023 — 28 of whom died in 2023 alone.

When asked about the data at a press event Wednesday, David Eby said it’s one of the most challenging issues his government faces.

“It is a really pernicious, awful, terrible thing that’s happening in the province and we will take all the steps we can to keep people alive, and for those struggling with addiction, to get them into treatment,” said Eby.

He claimed that the province had added over 200 new addictions treatment beds in care centres this year, adding that many are “focused on youth.”

The report showed that many of the youth had been recipients of Family Development services or youth services at some point in their lives.

“These are kids that face all kinds of challenges,” said Eby. “We’re gonna continue to focus on those kids providing them with support so they can be successful and build a good life for themselves including with housing and education.”

The Premier added that he knows the province has more work to do.

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