Drug overdose deaths in B.C. down by 30 per cent

So far this year, 127 people in Vancouver died of an illicit drug overdose, down from 172 in 2018

The number of people dying in the province’s opioid crisis appears to be abating.

The B.C. Coroners Service on Thursday released an updated report on the number of deaths in the province due to illicit drug overdose and, at least so far this year, the number of overdose-related deaths is down.

article continues below

Province-wide, there have been 462 deaths due to illicit drug toxicity in the first five months of 2019 — a 30 per cent decrease over the same time period last year, which saw 651 deaths. In Vancouver, 127 people died between Jan. 1 and May 31 this year. That’s down from 172 during the first five months of 2018 — a 26 per cent decrease.

Those dying are still predominately men aged 30 to 59 years old. Most of the deaths occurred inside, with more than half in private residences. No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption sites or overdose prevention sites.

And while it is still being detected in the vast majority of overdose deaths, the number of cases involving fentanyl and carfentanil is also down slightly.

The drug was detected, either on its own or in combination with another substance, in 83 per cent of the deaths so far this year. In 2018, fentanyl or its analogues, were detected in 87 per cent of cases.

In Vancouver, as of May 31 this year, fentanyl was a factor in 108 of the 127 suspected illicit drug overdoses.



Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Vancouver Courier welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Popular Vancouver Courier

Sign Up For Our e-Newsletter!
Find the Vancouver Courier Newspaper