CHARTS: Drug overdose deaths in B.C. by city, region

Vancouver is top B.C. city for drug fatalities, but high numbers also in Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Kelowna

Fentanyl was a factor in nearly half of B.C.’s illegal drug overdose deaths in the first three months of 2016, according to new statistics released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

That’s up sharply from last year, when the powerful and often deadly opiate was detected in 32 per cent of drug overdose deaths, and from 25 per cent in 2014.

A total of 256 drug overdose deaths were recorded from January to April 30, compared to 480 in all of 2015.

While Vancouver accounted for 49 drug overdose deaths so far this year, there have been large numbers in other cities – 31 in Surrey, 17 in Victoria, 15 in Nanaimo and 14 each in Kamloops and Kelowna.

Explore the data with our interactive charts below

The Fraser Health region accounted for the largest overall number of overdoses so far in 2016 – 76 up until April 30 after 171 deaths in 2015 – followed by Metro Vancouver, with 66 deaths this year.

However, more of the deaths so far this year were fentanyl-linked in Metro Vancouver.

In most cases where fentanyl was a factor, it was used in combination with other drugs.

Significant numbers of overdose deaths are also being recorded in other regions – 54 so far this year on Vancouver Island, 45 in the Interior and 28 within the Northern health region.

Three youths aged 10 to 19 are among the dead due to fentanyl so far this year, and four others in that age group died of drug overdoses that were not linked to fentanyl.

The latest statistics come a month after Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall declared a first-ever public health emergency in B.C. to try to address the sharp rise in opioid drug overdoses.

The measure empowers more rapid collection of data from regional and provincial authorities, so overdose treatment kits can be quickly deployed to specific areas when there are new incident clusters.

Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday he believes lives were saved in recent weeks in Kamloops as a result of authorities being able to quickly react to real-time information.

Create your own infographics

Just Posted

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Surrey to hear news on Olympic softball qualifier bid next week

Decision, originally expected in September, was delayed by World Baseball Softball Confederation

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read