Number of BC deaths from illicit drugs down slightly in January

It's not good news but there is a glimmer of hope with the latest release of illicit drug deaths in the province.

The number of deaths in B.C. decreased slightly in January over the figures for November and December, but was still the third-highest number ever for a single month.

Provisional data from the BC Coroners Service show that a total of 116 persons died as a result of illicit drug use during the month of January, an average of more than seven deaths every two days. December 2016 had the highest number of illicit drug deaths ever, 142.

The January data show that almost 60% of the illicit drug deaths involved persons between the ages of 30 and 49 years. Continuing the trend shown in 2016, four out of five who died were male. More than 90% of the deaths occurred in indoor settings with none reported from supervised consumption sites or overdose prevention sites.

The BC Coroners Service continues to work with the B.C. government's Joint Task Force on Overdose Response and with health, community and law enforcement agencies to try to reduce this death toll.


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