British Columbia Suffers Overdose Crisis After Legalizing Hard Drugs

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Overdose deaths have increased in British Columbia to become the number one cause of death for people ages 10 to 59 after the Canadian province decided to legalize fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and morphine. From January to May this year, 1,018 British Columbians died from drug overdoses, a 2.9% increase over that period last year. It is also estimated that 12,000 residents of the province have died from illegal drugs since April 2016. The government took this measure to be able to treat addiction as a health issue and not a criminal justice one. Jennifer Whiteside, British Columbia minister for mental health and addictions, said this would create a safe environment for drug users to seek help for their addiction.