B.C. has already eclipsed last year’s deadly drug overdose total

published on October 20, 2016 by Jesse Johnston in CBC News

More than 60 per cent of fatal overdoses in the province have been linked to fentanyl

There have been more illicit drug deaths over the first nine months of this year in British Columbia than there were in all of 2015, according to statistics from the B.C. Coroners Service.

A total of 508 people died last year from drug overdoses in B.C.

Between January 1 and September 30 of this year, there were 555 deaths.

B.C. Coroners Service spokeswoman Barb McLintock says fentanyl has been detected in more than 60 per cent of illicit drug deaths this year.

“Fentanyl remains a major contributor to the high number of deaths,” McLintock said.

“January 1 through August 31, 2016, there were a total of 302 cases in which fentanyl was detected. That number is more than triple the number of fentanyl-detected deaths for the same period last year.”

Growing problem

Kamloops, Victoria and Langley have seen the sharpest increases in overdose deaths.

In Kamloops, the number has risen from seven last year to 25 in the first nine months of 2016.

Victoria’s total has jumped from 18 to 44 over the same period and Langley’s total has risen from 10 to 20.

The majority of victims are men under the age of 40.

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