VICTORIA—More people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia in the first eight months of this year than all of 2016.
The coroner’s service says the 1,013 people who died from overdoses from January to the end of August surpasses a record 982 deaths last year.
The latest figures for 2017 show fentanyl was detected either alone or with another drug in more than 80 per cent of the deaths. In 2012, fentanyl was detected in just four per cent of overdose deaths.
The province declared a state of emergency last year and took a number of steps to try and reduce the number of overdoses.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says the increase in deaths highlights the complex issues of drug dependency.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the continued high numbers of deaths throughout the province despite numerous initiatives and harm-reduction measures in place,” Lapointe said in a news release.
“We also need people to know that no illicit substance in this province can be considered safe, whether you know your dealer or not.”
She said anyone using illicit drugs needs to be prepared for an overdose and have someone with them who is willing to help.
Source : TheStar