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RCMP: deaths tied to substance abuse are up in the NWT

The number of deaths tied directly to substance abuse is on the rise in the territory, according to data from police and health officials. 

In 2014, 11 people died in the NWT due to toxicity. That compares to five back in 2011.

Police say some of those deaths were caused by ingesting a combination of drugs and alcohol. While some of the cases involved long-term drug and alcohol users, others involved first-time users.

“Illicit drugs can contain variable potencies,” said RCMP in a statement. “This variability raises the potential for overdose.

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“Additionally, street level drugs contain impurities and can be made up of combinations of illicit substances.

“These drug combinations can cause unexpected adverse reactions and possible death.”


Toxicity deaths in the NWT year-on-year:

  • 2011: 5
  • 2012: 7
  • 2013: 8
  • 2014: 11


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