Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Increase in overdose deaths provincewide

Service Service
Ben Pena | 11 May, 2018, 18:59

No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption sites, or drug overdose prevention sites.

During the first quarter of 2018, there have been 391 suspected overdose deaths in the province, on par with the 400 reported through the first three months of past year, the B.C. Coroners Service says.

Vancouver has seen an average of 34 deaths a month this year, up from last year's 30.5 during the same period.

It's also a massive 58 per cent jump from the previous month, as there were only 102 overdose deaths in February. The week spanning April 23 to 29 saw 207 reported overdose calls, a 74 per cent increase with April 28 seeing the highest number of calls in one day since the beginning of past year.

Preliminary data indicate that through the first three months of 2018, fentanyl was detected in post-mortem testing in more than eight in every 10 deaths (83%).

More than 1,400 British Columbians died due to suspected illicit drug overdoses in 2017.

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The majority of deaths continue to be young- to middle-aged males who die in their homes or another residence, such as a hotel, motel, rooming house or shelter.

The three townships experiencing the highest amount of overdose deaths are Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

More than 160 people died from illicit drug overdoses in B.C.in March, the second-highest monthly total to date.

The overdose death rate in Northern B.C. surged in March after trailing the rest of the province.

Eleven of the 13 people who died last month in the North had fentanyl detected, while all of the fatal overdoses in January and February involved fentanyl.

The BC Coroners Service is urgently reminding anyone using illicit drugs not to use alone.

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