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October 27, 2017 10:00 pm

Drug Deaths Continue to Climb

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 @ 3:11 PM

Prince George, B.C. – There have been  8 deaths in Prince George in the first half of this year due to  illicit drug use,  and in four of the deaths, fentanyl was  present.

Fentanyl is 50-100 times more toxic than other opioids. The dose must be carefully monitored to avoid accidental overdose. This makes it particularly high risk for people who have never used opioids or for people who may mistakenly use fentanyl thinking it is something else.

While the number of  fentanyl related deaths in Prince George is down from the 7  recorded in the same period a year ago,  Fort St. John  is seeing  an increase.

In that community,  fentanyl  was  detected in  6 overdose deaths  in the first half of  this year,   that’s triple the  number detected in that community  during the same period in 2015.

The BC Coroners Service  says fentanyl  was linked to 14 deaths throughout the Northern Health region  in the  first six months of this year,   just as it was  in  the same six months of 2015.

Provincially the figures  continue to  climb.

From January 1st of this year to the end of June there were 371  drug overdose  deaths in BC.  That’s up 74.2% from  the same time period  one year ago and fentanyl is a key factor.

Between January 1st through to the end of May ( it takes a little longer for toxicology to  confirm fentanyl),  fentanyl was  detected in 60% of  the deaths.  During the same period a year ago, fentanyl was confirmed in 31% of the drug overdose deaths province wide.

Fentanyl related deaths are no longer a  lower mainland issue says the BC Coroners Service.  The number of   deaths in which fentanyl has been detected on Vancouver Island and in the southern Interior  during the first 5 months of this year,  is over an above the  total  for  the entire year of 2015.

The BC Coroners Service  is urging all  drug users to be extremely cautious,  and  that  9-1-1 be called if some appears to be overdosing.

Early Signs of Overdose:

  • Severe sleepiness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Slow, shallow breathing or snoring
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Trouble walking or talking

If  these symptoms are  present,  call 9-1-1.

The BC Coroners Service says it “continues to work with health, community and law enforcement agencies to try to find all ways possible to reduce this unacceptably high death toll.”



I am just wondering at what point to people realize the stupidity of their actions. When you engage in dangerous activities, you acknowledge the risks involved, it’s Russian roulette. If you are not seeking all the assistance available currently to get away from this activity, why should we* (*the public in general) continue to reach out to these folks. Just food for thought and discussion…

    We should help because we haven’t educated youth enough to stay away from drugs or alcohol; can’t recall anyone ever teaching me except my folks. If youth were engrained with the consequences there would be less problems today. We all know why individuals choose to drink or use drugs but early prevention is key. Knowledge of alternate methods to cope, etc. It won’t stop some people from using drugs but limit the amount of people. In short, our system has failed a vast majority of addicted people.

Illicit drugs should be legalized, taxed, regulated, restricted to adults. Monitored for drugs like Heroin. What ever the approach now isn’t working. At least then society can get a handle on it all.

    They do that in Spain with some success. I hate drugs and the use, but it’s not going away.. EVER. Legalize and focus on treatment and not prevention.
    Drug users will always use.. I doubt you’ll see an increase in usage with legalization. You’d certainly see a drop in many types of crime.
    Tax it and use that money for treatment and prevention facilities. It may work. I know this. What’s happening today certainly isn’t anywhere close to working.

    Spain Policy
    Drug consumption is not a crime in Spain, and the Government is proud of it. When consumed in public, it’s considered a “serious breach” of the Law on the Protection of Citizens.

    After the devastation caused by heroin use and HIV during the 1980s, Spanish authorities decided to focus on “curing” drug addicts – considered sick people – while punishing drug traffickers. This model still applies today.

    Legalising private consumption has created a legal loophole that has allowed a flourishing number of private consumption clubs and associations to spring up. “Grow shops”, magazines selling seeds and specialised gear to grow cannabis, are legal.

    As Spain is a decentralised state, each region has its own policies and its own drug commissioners. Regional governments enforce policies autonomously. Catalonia, for example, plays host to more than 200 cannabis smokers’ clubs, easy to find in any street, while in Madrid there are fewer, they are more secret and the police has been known to raid some of them.

    Drug-trafficking is considered a crime by the law and is punished quite severely, with possible penalties as high as 20 years in prison.

    Courts encourage rehabilitation programmes by reducing penalties if the offender agrees to receive treatment.

Early Signs of Overdose:

Severe sleepiness
Slow heartbeat
Trouble breathing
Slow, shallow breathing or snoring
Cold, clammy skin
Trouble walking or talking

– But you just described marriage for most men.

OK I will be the one to say it….Who Cares… really people these addicts know the risks

    With that attitude why care about anyone dying? Everyone knows the risks leaving home entails and if met with a trajic end – respond with a “I don’t care”. I guess no one in your family has been in an accident, etc.

Those who have never been there themselves, or had to live through watching a loved one battle addiction will not understand. Therefore I can forgive you for your ignorance and indifference. I certainly hope that you get to remain that way. Keep yourself and your children safe.
Nobody makes the concious choice to become that wreck of a person that you see on the street. Drugs are a slippery slope, you dont just leave school or get off of work one day and suddenly decide to try shooting up.

    To further that – no one desires to be born a certain race, creed, sex etc. – why be indifferent to blacks, whites, gays etc.

    “Can’t we all just get along” – Rodney King

why not just punishment for anyone, any amount, any kind of drug, like the ASIAN countries have: life in jail, lop off a hand, lop off your head.

    No addicts or drug related crime in Asia?

Hey Medeon…had many of accidents and many deaths but none where from drug overdose…keep your facts straight please…I grew up in poor project type housing and I didn’t stick a needle in my arm…drugs where all around my friends and I and we made choices…any of you who read this drugs are a choice and wait till one of these junkies or crack heads rip you off of your stuff…then say oh the poor person has an addiction…it is a choice…

    You didn’t comprehend my statement and figured you would stoke your ego in the meantime lol. Yes, life is a choice – I question why alot choose drugs or alcohol and not meditating or exercising. Some are programmed to have a cold one on a hot summer day with buddies and get joy from it – times get rough amd they reach for that feeling of joy…. becomes an alcoholic. Seen it all my life with friends. Apply that to drugs as well. We need to program the youth that there other choices – make baseball, soccer, hockey free to all kids under 15 for example.

      Also prov2;

      If I applied the uncompassionate theory to your statement – I don’t care that you had family, friends or loved ones die from accidents; they knew the risks and made a choice.

      Sounds cold doesn’t it – I for one will always help the needy when possible. One day that person may be you or yours….

      Needs to start with the parents. Kids see parents having a drink to relieve stress so they do it too… vicious cycle

      Why do people assume that every kid wants to play baseball, soccer, football or hockey? I had no interest in team sports as a kid and I never picked up a drug habit because of it.

Judging by some of the comments and the thumbs downs they are getting, the hate and indifference is strong on this discussion board today/night. Which means we have a gaggle of Cons surfing this site tonight.

    I see all the libs want to cure these addicts and criminals, by handing out hugs and Tony Robbins books?

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee 1960

Have a heart folks, if addiction has not touched you personally, perhaps consider the plight of an addicted person.
We may not condone his or her actions, but can we blame them for their addiction?
Would we not want to help a friend or neighbour who is suffering from addiction?

    They have to want to help themselves first; otherwise, help from a friend, family or neighbor is just wasted effort.

|gotta wonder out loud how a pusher would sell a customer a dose that kills them. I think the pusher would want a life long customer (albeit a shortened life).

Yup it still doesn’t sink in to a lot of folks out here. How much are we going to do for these idiots, there is more than enough help out there for them to turn it around. Legalize illegal drugs to make it safer? What good is that morons will still cook up garbage drugs and sell it to the idiots looking to get high regardless of the law or legality.

Geez we have coffee cup lids with a warning about the contents being HOT just because some idiot got a good burn. Seems no one wants to come out and say STOP the stupidity already. OK some folks my have friends family or loved ones who are battling addiction issues, my heart goes out to you. But as a community we can’t keep protecting the stupid every time they turn around. We won’t get anything done chasing shadows all the time.

We can educate till the cows come home we can warn, we can attempt to protect but at 3:30 in the morning in the alley behind the out reach center, when the junkie shoots up a bad load, who’s fault is it in the end. Ask yourself that before you bleed your heart out about how cold someone is about another persons shear stupidity… Food for thought.

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