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The 'other' public health crisis

There is a record high number of drug overdoses in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. So, what’s behind the other public health crisis killing Canadians. And what is the government doing to address it? Garth Mullins, host of the podcast Crackdown, shares his thoughts from the frontlines.
Paramedics and first responders give chest compressions to a person in an alley in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on May 11, 2020. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

There's another public health crisis killing Canadians in record numbers.

In May, 170 people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia. It's the worst death toll in the province's history. And it's not just B.C., people are overdosing all over the country, particularly in Ontario and Alberta.

Garth Mullins is a documentarian and host of the award-winning podcast Crackdown. It was created to cover the opioid crisis from the perspective of drug users themselves.

We spoke with Mullins back in April about how COVID-19 was affecting people in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Today, we talk about what's driving the unprecedented number of deaths — and why this long-running public health crisis isn't being prioritized.


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