Surrey continues to see the second-highest number of fatal overdoses in the province.
In November, there were 19 people lost their lives to suspected drug overdoses deaths in the city, according to the latest data released from the BC Coroners Service on Monday (Dec. 21).
The 19 fatalities in November brings Surrey’s total to 189 so far in 2020.
In November 2019, there were seven overdose deaths in Surrey.
Throughout B.C., there were 153 illicit drug deaths in November, which is equal to five people per day losing their lives to illicit drug overdoses.
“Tragically, as we reach the end of 2020, our province is facing a record-breaking year for lives lost due to a toxic illicit drug supply,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.
“In the five years of this public health emergency, more than 6,500 families have experienced the grief and sadness of losing a loved one to the challenging medical condition of drug addiction. I extend my sincere condolences to all of those grieving a family member, friend or colleague due to this disease.”
Between January and August this year, Surrey surpassed the total number of deaths in 2019, which was 119. That was down from the 214 deaths in 2018.
Surrey’s total fatal overdoses are only surpassed by Vancouver, which has seen 367 in the last 11 months.
Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria are the three municipalities in the province experiencing the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020.
In 2019, 984 people died – a majority, or due to illicit fentanyl, a powerful street-level opioid.
Provincewide, there have been 1,548 overdose deaths this year.
The BC Coroners Service says toxicology results suggest “a greater number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations from April to November 2020 compared with previous months.”