Overdose death totals surpass 1100 across BC this year

Alicia Farmer
November 9, 2017

The B.C. Coroners Service says more than 1,100 British Columbians died due to a suspected illicit drug overdose between January and September, with most deaths happening in the days following welfare payments.

Overdose deaths in the province are higher in 2017 compared to previous year after new data was released Thursday by the BC Coroners Service. By this time a year ago, 607 deaths were reported.

According to statistics from the BC Coroners Service, fentanyl continues to be detected in more than eight out of every 10 deaths and carfentanil has been detected in 37 deaths between June and September.

In comparison to numbers from 2007, overdose deaths have quadrupled in Vancouver this year. Four out of five deaths are men. Fridays see the highest number of overdose deaths per week across B.C.

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The overdose death toll in Vancouver sits at 281 as of September 30. Across the Interior Health Authority in September, there were just nine fatal overdoses, compared to 25 in August of this year.

Nearly 90 per cent of drug overdoses deaths have occurred indoors, with nearly 60 per cent in private residences and nearly 30 per cent inside other locations.

No deaths are reported to have occurred at any supervised consumption site or a drug overdose prevention site.

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