Health Care

More than 1100 drug overdose deaths in BC this year

More than 1100 drug overdose deaths in BC this year”

So far in 2017, just over 1,100 people have died of overdose-related deaths in British Columbia.

There have been 63 drug caused deaths to the end of September this year in Kelowna and 17 in Vernon.

Fentanyl - which is estimated to be up to 100 times stronger than morphine - was detected in approximately 83 percent of the suspected illicit drug-overdose deaths, it said in a statement.

In most cases, fentanyl was combined with other illicit drugs, most often cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines. Carfentanil was found in 37 per cent. More than 90 per cent of deadly overdoses happen indoors.

Vancouver, it added, had the highest rate of overdose deaths and also the largest rate increase.

The overdose death toll in Vancouver sits at 281 as of September 30. Overdose deaths linked specifically to fentanyl have consistently, albeit marginally, decreased in Vancouver Coastal Health since May - 27 that month, 26 in June, 24 in July and August and 21 in September.

Men are disproportionately affected by the overdose crisis, accounting for four out of every five deaths. There have been no deaths at any supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.



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