CHARTS: Drug overdose deaths in B.C. by city, region

Vancouver is top B.C. city for drug fatalities, but high numbers also in Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Kelowna

Fentanyl may be passed off as Oxycontin or can be added to other opiates sold by dealers.

Fentanyl was a factor in nearly half of B.C.’s illegal drug overdose deaths in the first three months of 2016, according to new statistics released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

That’s up sharply from last year, when the powerful and often deadly opiate was detected in 32 per cent of drug overdose deaths, and from 25 per cent in 2014.

A total of 256 drug overdose deaths were recorded from January to April 30, compared to 480 in all of 2015.

While Vancouver accounted for 49 drug overdose deaths so far this year, there have been large numbers in other cities – 31 in Surrey, 17 in Victoria, 15 in Nanaimo and 14 each in Kamloops and Kelowna.

Explore the data with our interactive charts below

The Fraser Health region accounted for the largest overall number of overdoses so far in 2016 – 76 up until April 30 after 171 deaths in 2015 – followed by Metro Vancouver, with 66 deaths this year.

However, more of the deaths so far this year were fentanyl-linked in Metro Vancouver.

In most cases where fentanyl was a factor, it was used in combination with other drugs.

Significant numbers of overdose deaths are also being recorded in other regions – 54 so far this year on Vancouver Island, 45 in the Interior and 28 within the Northern health region.

Three youths aged 10 to 19 are among the dead due to fentanyl so far this year, and four others in that age group died of drug overdoses that were not linked to fentanyl.

The latest statistics come a month after Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall declared a first-ever public health emergency in B.C. to try to address the sharp rise in opioid drug overdoses.

The measure empowers more rapid collection of data from regional and provincial authorities, so overdose treatment kits can be quickly deployed to specific areas when there are new incident clusters.

Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday he believes lives were saved in recent weeks in Kamloops as a result of authorities being able to quickly react to real-time information.

Create your own infographics

Just Posted

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

An upstart ferry company might be a Malahat alternative

A new ferry service might alleviate Malahat congestion. Dogwood Ferries is a… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Conservationists, industry react to fish farm provisions

New provincial regulations to take effect by 2022

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

Most Read