More than 1100 drug overdose deaths in BC this year


The BC Coroners Service released a new tally Thursday on the number of illicit drug overdose fatalities in B.C.

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

In most cases, the powerful opioid painkiller was combined with other drugs including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. By this time previous year, 607 deaths were reported.

Carfentanil was found in 37 suspected overdose deaths between June and September.

There have been 76 illicit overdose deaths in Kamloops since the start of 2016. Four out of five deaths are men.

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The city ranks eighth among B.C. cities grappling with the crisis.

Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria are the three townships experiencing the highest number of illicit drug overdoses in B.C., according to the service.

The overdose death toll in Vancouver sits at 281 as of September 30.

Statistics from the coroner's office through September shows there have been 1,103 overdose deaths, up from 607 at this time in 2016. No deaths occurred at any supervised consumption site or at any of the drug overdose prevention sites.