Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Booze plays big role in NWT deaths

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 02/05) - Alcohol continues to play a major role in deaths in the Northwest Territories, according a report from the Chief Coroner, released Monday.

Half of all suicides and one quarter of fatal accidents were booze-related in 2004, a trend that has been common in the Territories over the last several years.

Overall, 10 people took their own lives last year, a small drop from the 2003.

Six of those suicides happened in Yellowknife and four of those involved males over 35, wrote Chief Coroner Percy Kinney.

The number of suicides in the NWT continues to rise as well - the average from 1999-2005 is nearly twice that from 1995-1998.

The total number, however, is relatively small making the averages prone to wild fluctuations. Alcohol contributed to three accidental deaths in the NWT during 2004.

That represented 25 per cent of the total where bodies were recovered, Kinney wrote. (Five victims, presumed drowned, were never found.)

One person died as a direct result of ethanol toxicity - commonly known as alcohol poisoning - while one person plummeted to their death and another drowned.