(Black Press Media files)

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Two-thirds of those who have died in B.C.’s overdose crisis did not have contact with police over the past two years, figures from Statistics Canada found.

The numbers, released Tuesday, were the first part of the agency’s review of the social and economic conditions leading to a crisis that has killed thousands in the past few years.

Statistics Canada analyzed deaths between 2011 and 2016, the latter two years of which saw drug overdose figures jump sharply.

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

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

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

Since 2016, illicit drug overdoses have killed 8,000 people across the country and B.C. is home to the highest number of people dying of illicit drug overdoses over the last eight years.

Statistics Canada found that although most overdose victims did not have recent contact with police, those who did had frequent contact.

The agency said that in the two years preceding their deaths, 11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police.

The numbers jumped up even higher for the three months before death, where one-third of those killed by a drug overdose were in contact with the police.

Of the crimes reported for those individuals, most were non-violent with shoplifting under $5,000 being the most common.

Reasons for contact with the police in the 24 months prior to death. (Statistics Canada)

The agency found that 34 per cent of fatal overdose victims did not have a job for any of the five years preceding their deaths.

Another 26 per cent were employed for each of those five years, with the most common jobs being in construction, building maintenance, waste management and other support services.

Just over a quarter of those killed by the overdose crisis were hospitalized in the year leading up to their deaths. The most common reasons were substance-use related disorders, followed by mental health conditions, opioid poisonings and miscellaneous injuries and poisonings.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

Kitimat’s BC Hydro substation receives a massive upgrade

It will cost $82 million to ensure that LNG Canada has enough… Continue reading

Comment requested for Kitimat LNG’s expansion plans

Company says radical redesign means additional export is possible

Haisla Nation Council appoints Stewart, Renwick

Two recently elected Haisla Nation councillors, Kevin Stewart and Arthur Renwick, have… Continue reading

Relief in sight from open burn pollution

New regulations should cut down on air pollution

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Most Read