According to the B-C Coroners Service, the Northern Region of our province boasts the highest percentage of fentanyl-related deaths. In total, 75 percent of illicit-drug overdose deaths in the North are linked to fentanyl. The statistics are as follows:
Fentanyl-Related Deaths from January 1st – June 30th, 2016
Prince George: 9 deaths
North: 21 deaths
BC: 238 deaths
The fentanyl deaths in B.C. this year are a staggering 250 percent increase from the 68 deaths occurring during the same time last year.
Across the province, the B.C. Coroners Service conducted a toxicology study for 207 fentanyl-related deaths. In 96 percent of these deaths, at least one other substance other than fentanyl was detected. The most frequent were cocaine (46%), alcohol (36%), methamphetamine (34%), and heroin (30%).
Men account for 190 fentanyl related deaths across B.C., while the drug has taken the lives of 48 women. Men between the ages of 30-39 are most at risk with 76 deaths so far this year.
Speaking to the total number of illicit drug overdoses in general, there have been 433 deaths across the province. Three of those deaths occurred in July, which brings the total number to 31 in the North this year.
At this rate, more than 60 people are killed each month by illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia.