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

From the court to coaching: Kody Worden

‘Basketball has brought me a lot of joy and I hope it does the same for the students I coach’

Williams Lake City Council and community advocacy leads to GPS monitoring of six prolific offenders

Counc. Scott Nelson said he is happy at this result and hopes to build on momentum

Off-duty Burnaby officer helps apprehend Cache Creek car thief fleeing towards Clinton

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Most Read