This Friday, June 1, 2018, file photo, shows syringes of the opioid painkiller fentanyl in an inpatient pharmacy. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

A total of 128 people died from illicit drugs in September, as the staggering number of overdose deaths in B.C. climbs to more than 1,100 this year.

Roughly four people die each day from an overdose in all corners of the province, according to updated statistics released by the BC Coroners Service Wednesday.

B.C. is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths as last year, which was the worst in Canadian history. In 2017, an average of 120 people died each month. In the first three-quarters of 2018, an average of 127 people died each month.

Vancouver continues to be the city hit hardest, with 297 deaths, followed by 162 deaths in Surrey and 74 in Victoria.

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in BC is dying of drug overdoses

READ MORE: Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact, Stats Canada data shows

So far this year, 63 per cent of all deaths have occurred in the Lower Mainland.

The most prevalent drug detected through autopsies was illicit fentanyl in 94 per cent of all deaths, followed by cocaine at just under 50 per cent, and methamphetamine at about 32 per cent.

Overdose deaths by city
Infogram

READ MORE: Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacists to undergo specialized opioid training


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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