Fentanyl Related Overdose Deaths Highest in Northern BC
Prince George, B.C. – The BC Coroners Service has released some startling new numbers.
New statistics show that the Northern region of British Columbia now has the highest proportion of overdose deaths in which fentanyl is detected – 75% of all overdose deaths this year.
From January, 2016 to the end of July, 2016 the breakdown province-wide is as follows:
- Northern Region (includes the region north, east and west from 100 Mile House to all provincial borders, and Haida Gwaii)- 75%
- Island Region – 71%
- Fraser Region – 60%
- Interior Region – 58%
- Metro Region – 58%
And although there was a small drop in July, the total number of deaths from illicit drug overdoses remains significantly higher than previous years.
In the first seven months of 2016 the total number of deaths from illicit drug overdoses was 433, an increase of 73.9% from the same period last year.
The total number of overdose deaths in July was 52, down from 61 in June.
In light of these troubling statistics the BC Coroners Service is asking users of illicit drugs to “exercise extreme caution.”
“Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe stresses the critical importance of calling 911 to obtain medical assistance immediately if someone appears to be overdosing. Drug users are also urged never to use alone and to ensure that they have a naloxone kit and someone trained to use it available every time when using.”