Study shows abnormal overdose and suicide rates among young female Indigenous drug users (Cedar Project)

Young Indigenous drug users are 13 times more likely to die than others in their age group, and women make up more than half of the deaths, according to a study that monitored more than 600 young people in Vancouver and Prince George over 12 years.

Forty of the participants died between 2003 and 2014, mostly from overdose, illness and suicide, according to the Cedar Project Partnership study conducted by a team of researchers and published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Twice as many females as males died during the study, which concluded before drug deaths attributed to a proliferation of fentanyl in the province rose dramatically. (Since the study ended, another 26 participants died and 16 of them were girls or women.)

Susan Lazaruk reports

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