Naloxone. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Naloxone. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

60 people in Surrey lose their lives to fatal overdoses in first 3 months of 2021

In all of B.C., there were nearly 500 deaths

Of the nearly 500 people who lost their lives to illicit drug overdoses in the first three months of 2021, 60 of those were in Surrey.

In the latest report from the BC Coroners Service released on Thursday (April 29), 20 people died in January, 26 died in February and a further 14 people lost their lives in March.

Surrey was only surpassed by Vancouver, which recorded 112 overdoses in the same time period.

Overdose deaths in Surrey have nearly doubled compared to the same time last year, when there were 36 between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2020. There were 37 fatal overdoses during the same period in 2019.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, which wasn’t declared until partway through March 2020, has compounded the ongoing opioid crisis.

This comes as Surrey RCMP is urging caution following a cluster of overdose death in the city in the past week.

READ ALSO: Caution urged after cluster of Surrey overdose deaths, April 28, 2021

According to a news release issued Wednesday (April 28), between April 21 and April 27, police responded to six separate deaths believed to have been caused by “drug toxicity.”

“At this time, it is unknown if the deaths are related to the use of illicit substances from the same source, however, it is suspected that the deaths are linked to the use of fentanyl/heroin (opiates),” the release states.

In total, 498 people lost their lives due to overdoses in B.C. between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021.

READ ALSO: B.C. nears 500 fatal overdoses in 1st quarter of 2021; 158 deaths in March, April 29, 2021

It’s the most fatal overdoses ever recorded in the first three months of the year

Deaths continue to largely take place in private residences and no fatalities were recorded at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites. Only Vancouver Coastal Health saw more deaths in other residences such as in hotels, motels, rooming houses, single room occupancy, shelters, social and supportive housing than private ones.

So far this year, the highest number of overdose deaths have been in Vancouver Coastal Health with 237 and Fraser Health with 171, making up 62 per cent of all fatalities this year.

Preliminary data showed that 84 per cent of deaths so far this year have have been related to fentanyl, compared to 86 per cent last year. The even more toxic carfentanil has been detected in 48 drug toxicity deaths so far this year, 18 of them in March. In all of 2020, the drug was found in 65 deaths.

READ ALSO: B.C. government needs to ‘take action’ as overdose deaths rise: Surrey-White Rock MLA, April 29, 2021

– With files from Tracy Holmes, Katya Slepian

opioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating serious collision in Surrey

Incident happend May 6 at King George Boulevard and 128th Street

Surrey Fire Service firefighters quickly contained a fire on 75A Avenue. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Surrey firefighters extinguish second house fire in Newton

Second fire incident reported in Newton Sunday morning

Surrey RCMP are investigating two ‘suspicious’ fires in Newton Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Most Read