Illicit drug and fentanyl death total in 2016 already surpasses 2015

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Illicit drug deaths in the province have already passed the total from 2015 and 2016 still has a couple of months to go.

In the latest numbers released by the B.C. coroners service, for the first 9 months of 2016 there have been 555 deaths compared to 508 in 2015 in B.C.

The number of deaths in September was 56 up from 49 in August around the province.

In Northeast B.C., there were 4 fentanyl related deaths in 2015. So far in 2016, there has been 11. Illicit drug overdoses have jumped from 5 in 2015 to 13 so far in 2016.

The illicit drug category includes the following drugs:

  • Street drugs (heroin, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine, etc.)
  •  Medications that may not have been prescribed to the deceased
  •  Combinations of the above, with prescribed medications
  • Origin of drug not known

The BC Coroners Service is reminding everyone of the importance of harm-reduction measures that need to be taken by anyone using illicit drugs. These include never using alone, having naloxone present and readily available when using, and knowing the signs of an overdose and calling 911 immediately.