For the fourth year in a row, Hope is among the top five B.C. communities for drug death rates.
Numbers released on Tuesday (Jan. 31) by the BC Coroners Service confirmed that Hope had eight such deaths for 2022 — the same number reported for 2021.
The small number is significant for a community of Hope’s size whose population is still below 10,000 people. And while Hope’s death rate for this year is 87.9 (per 100,000 people), which is a 2.1 decrease from 2021, it is still the fourth highest in the province. In fact, only Merritt (92.6), Terrace (110.5), and Vancouver-Centre North (470.8) are higher for 2022.
Dr. Aseem Grover, when speaking with the Standard last year, said one thing he attributes to Hope’s high death rate is how large and geographically challenging Hope’s region is. According to Grover, a good portion of the community is spread out over the region which, coupled with its challenges, makes it harder for residents to access life-saving services. This, continued Grover, is especially true given the lack of support from the provincial government for transportation.
Grover, who is the medical director for Fraser Canyon Hospital (FCH), works on the frontlines of addiction and overdose in Hope.
READ MORE: Hope and area among B.C.’s worst for overdose death rate
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