B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

More than 1,200 people have died from illicit drug overdoses so far this year in B.C.

Numbers released Monday by the BC Coroners Service show that 96 people lost their lives in October, bringing the year’s total to 1,208 deaths.

READ MORE: B.C. hits record number of illicit drug overdose deaths

As has been the case for all of 2017 so far, the highest number of people who died that month were in Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

Fentanyl continues to kill. The powerful painkiller was discovered in about one in five overdose deaths this year. According to the Canadian Border Security Agency, the amount of fentanyl seized in the first six months of 2017 is 70 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Men between 30-49 years old remain the most at risk for overdose-related deaths.

Earlier this month, the B.C. government announced it was creating a multi-tiered overdose emergency response centre, to better connect regional and local social workers, health authorities and other workers.

The centre will be made up of experts and full-time health staff at Vancouver General Hospital, with five regional teams implemented at each health authority.


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