FILE - In this June 6, 2017, file photo, a reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Overdose deaths are continuing to decrease at promising rates in B.C. but five people are still dying every two days due to a toxic drug supply.

There were 690 drug deaths between January and August, according to data released by the BC Coroners Service Wednesday, marking a 33 per cent drop in drug-related fatalities in the first eight months of 2019 compared to last year. A reported 1,037 people died from illicit drugs within the same time period last year and 1,083 people in 2017.

Seventy-nine deaths were drug related in August, marking a general decline month-over-month since January.

ALSO READ: ‘A balanced view’: How to talk to kids about B.C.’s overdose crisis

READ MORE: Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

Despite the reprieve in the ongoing overdose crisis, street-level fentanyl remains a prominent cause of overdose deaths and has been detected in 85 per cent of all toxicity reports.

Illicit carfentanil, a drug 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and used to sedate large animals, has been detected in 119 fatal overdoses – a 240 per cent spike from the 35 deaths seen last year.

By local area, the highest rates of illicit drug deaths are in the small communities of Princeton, Grand Forks and Hope. The lions share of these kinds of deaths remain in Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

READ MORE: Carfentanil, an opioid more toxic than fentanyl, linked to more deaths in B.C.

READ MORE: ‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdose deaths by city
Infogram


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Three people sent to hospital following serious crash in View Royal

Incident involved a motorcycle and one vehicle on Sunday afternoon

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read