Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Manitoba is on pace to set a new record for drug overdose deaths

Key sentence:

  • Around 200 Manitobans died from drug overdoses in the first half of 2021, and campaigners worried that if the trend was maintained, the province would hit a new low.
  • In the first six months of 2021, the province has already recorded 117 fentanyl deaths.

Around 200 Manitobans died of drug overdoses during the first half of 2021, and campaigners warned that the province would set a new low if the trend continued.

From January to June of this year, there were 199 drug-related deaths in Manitoba, according to data obtained by CTV News from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

This is over 44% greater than the number of drug-related deaths reported during the same period the previous year.

In all, 372 drug-related deaths were reported in Manitoba in 2020.

Also read: A team from University of Manitoba has been awarded a grant of $202,000

“We’re on track to beat last year’s worst year in Manitoba overdose history,” Co-founder of Overdose Awareness Manitoba Rebecca Rummery told CTV News.

“It’s distressing to see the figures.”

Fentanyl overdoses are on the growth in Manitoba.

In the year 2020, the province reported 196 fentanyl-related drug deaths. The province has already documented 117 fentanyl deaths in the first six months of 2021.

Manitoba on track to lose more people than ever to overdose deaths this  year

The surge of fentanyl in Manitoba, according to Rummery, is not surprising. She claimed that fentanyl was flowing across the country from British Columbia, and Manitoba was unprepared.

“We don’t have supervised consumption facilities where people may safely test or use their substances,” she explained.

“For folks who do have substance use disorders, we need to see more things like harm reduction, medically assisted detox centres, long-term treatments, and ongoing supports.”

“It’s upsetting; additional work in Manitoba to help this is desperately needed.”

-with files from Michael D’Alimonte of CTV.

Source: CTV News

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