WHITEHORSE—Yukon’s health minister says 13 people fatally overdosed between January and mid-July, more than double the number for all of last year.
Pauline Frost says most of the deaths are linked to opioids as street drugs become more toxic because of a disruption of the regular supply during the pandemic.
Frost says the territory will expand drug testing capacity and provide drug users with kits for crack cocaine and injection use as well as methamphetamine pipes as part of its harm-reduction approach.
She says enhanced training for use of naloxone, a medication to reverse overdoses, will begin next week in Watson Lake.
The community will proclaim August as Overdose Awareness Month in recognition of the severity of the overdose crisis.
Frost called on Yukoners to be compassionate, not judgmental of those who use drugs, and says the territory is exploring how a supervised consumption site may meet its needs.