128 more illicit drug deaths in B.C. in November, 755 deaths this year

The highest number of overdose deaths this year have occurred in Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria.

A total of 128 total people died from illicit drug overdose deaths in November – the highest monthly death total in 2016.

The newest stats brings the year-to-date death toll to 755 people this year, compared to 443 in the same time period in 2015.

The highest number of overdose deaths this year have occurred in Vancouver with 164 deaths, Surrey with 92 deaths, and Victoria with 64 deaths. The government has implemented overdose prevention sites in all three cities.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said 80 per cent of deaths in November occurred inside.

Fentanyl was detected in 374 deaths this year, or about 60 per cent. This is triple the amount from same time period last year.

Lapointe acknowledged the efforts of emergency responders on the front lines.

To continue combating the increasing death toll, Lapointe said it’s crucial for those using drugs to be able to access help without effects of negative stigmas, judgement, and risk of loss of employment.

She said drugs should not be used alone, Nalaxone should be on hand, and suggested using safe injection sites or overdose prevention sites.

Looking ahead, Lapointe said December so far is looking like a “bad month.”

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