FILE - This Friday, June 1, 2018, file photo, shows syringes of the opioid painkiller fentanyl in an inpatient pharmacy. A new report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy says 1,565 people died in the state from drug overdoses in 2017. That’s an 11.5 percent increase from 2016. More than half of the overdose deaths in 2017 were caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

New data on the number of opioid-related deaths across Canada is offering insight on how unpredictable the crisis is – predominantly in the western regions.

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, according to a statement by the Public Health Agency of Canada Tuesday.

Of those deaths, 94 per cent have been deemed unintentional or accidental.

“Tragically, that now means that more than 8,000 Canadians lost their lives between January 2016 and March 2018,” the statement said. In 2016, roughly 3,000 Canadians died of opioid overdoses followed by 4,000 dying last year.

The federal advisory committee focused on the epidemic of opioid overdoses nation-wide also released an epidemiological study, which looks at the profile of people dying this way.

While historically overdose deaths tended to be concentrated among people who had consumed drugs over a prolonged period of time, the new profile has revealed a wide spectrum – one that includes first-time drug users and those suffering from chronic pain.

The new data also showed that Western Canada continues to see the brunt of the overdose crisis, particularly B.C. and Alberta. In the first three months of the year, 391 people died in the province. From January until July, 878 have died.

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

View Royal mayor victimized in CERB identity theft scam

David Screech shocked to find his CRA account was accessed, his banking information changed

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

Driver loses control, crashes into Saanich furniture store

Crash at Lazyboy Furniture store Wednesday afternoon

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read