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Peace River North Dan Davies has been appointed to a B.C. health committee that will review the overdose crisis.

The Select Standing Committee on Health consists of representatives from the province’s three main political parties. According to a release, the committee will review ​mental health and ​addictions supports and examine the urgent and ongoing illicit drug toxicity and overdose crisis.

“I am honoured to have been appointed to this important committee,” said Davies. “With the province seeing seven deaths a day due to overdose​, and ​with northeastern B.C. seeing the highest per capita overdose deaths, we need to figure out the best path forward and reverse this disturbing trend.”

The committee has been tasked to review patterns of use, the drug market, the role of organized crime, as well as the increase in toxicity coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They will be looking at the government systems and services responding to drug supplies and drug death and injury. The committee will also outline recommendations regarding provincial and local government reforms, prevention and harm reduction, decriminalization, and access to safe supplies,” said a release.

The recent death panel review by the BC Coroners Service will serve as the foundation for the committee’s work, said the release.

On Tuesday, a coroners service report showed that Northeast B.C. reported one fatal drug overdose in February, for a total of six deaths in 2022.

At 31 fatal overdoses, 2020 remains the year with the highest illicit drug death count in the northeast since 2012.

The second-highest year was in 2021, with 27 overdose deaths.


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