Drug overdose deaths this year now more than all of 2015

555 lives lost in B.C. in first nine months, fentanyl detected in 61 per cent of cases

Greater naloxone availability has been part of B.C.'s strategy to counter a growing crisis of opioid drug deaths.

Another 59 B.C. residents died in September from illicit drug overdoses – up from 49 in August –bringing the total for the year so far to 555.

That exceeds the 508 lives lost to drug overdoses in all of 2015.

Fentanyl continues to be detected in about 61 per cent of fatal drug overdoses, according to the latest statistics released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

The 302 cases in which fentanyl was detected is more than triple the number for the same nine months of 2015.

More overdose deaths happened in the Fraser Health region – 195 so far in 2016 – than Vancouver Coastal (128), Vancouver Island (107) or the Interior (93).

The top cities where deaths occurred were Vancouver (110), Surrey (71), Victoria (44), Kelowna (31), Abbotsford (26), Kamloops (25) and Maple Ridge (22).

A multi-prong response strategy has been underway since the province declared a public health emergency in April and created a dedicated task force in July.

Efforts include making naloxone much more widely available to reverse overdoses in progress.

The strategy also aims to block fentanyl production and distribution, increase harm-reduction options, foster greater public education and increase the number of addiction recovery beds.

The rate of deaths from opioid overdoses has skyrocketed across British Columbia since 2011.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Fire near Baynes Lake

On Sunday, April 22, a fire was discovered in the Baynes Lake area.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Most Read