Read the full report here.
There were 755 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths from Jan to Nov 2016. This is a 70.4% increase over the number of death occurring during the same period in 2015 (443).
The number of illicit drug overdose deaths in Nov 2016 (128) is the highest recorded in a month in BC and is more than double the average number of illicit drug overdose deaths since 2015 (55).
Illicit fentanyl–detected deaths appear to account largely for the increase in illicit drug overdose deaths since 2012 as the number of illicit drug overdose deaths excluding fentanyl -detected has remained relatively stable since 2011 (average of 293 deaths per year).
Individuals aged 30-39 and 40-49 have accounted for the largest percentage of illicit drug overdose deaths in Jan – Nov 2016 (28.3% and 23.4%, respectively). About 75% of illicit drug overdose deaths were among individuals between the ages of 19-49 years. Males accounted for 80.1% of apparent illicit drug overdose deaths in Jan – Nov 2016.
Saturdays and Sundays were the days of the week most fatal illicit drug overdoses occurred in Jan to Nov 2016.
Top three townships where fatal illicit drug overdoses occurred in 2007-2016, were Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria.
Fraser Health Authority had the highest number (259) of illicit drug overdose deaths in Jan – Nov 2016 which makes up 34.3% of all illicit drug overdose deaths during that period.
Vancouver Island Health Authority had the highest rate of illicit drug overdose deaths (19.7 deaths per 100,000 individuals) in Jan – Nov 2016 among all health authorities and saw the largest increase in rate from 2015 (153% increase).
Overall, the rate of illicit drug overdose deaths in BC increased 59.6% in Jan – Nov 2016 compared with 2015.
Audio from CBC’s The Current, which aired December 19, 2016
‘I was dead for 10 minutes’: Vancouver’s opioid overdose crisis Even with Narcan kits, first responders worry fentanyl is getting so powerful the antidote won’t be enough. The CBC’s Natalie Clancy looks at the raw reality of what is now considered to be Canada’s opioid crisis. (If the player doesn’t work, click here.)
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