There have been 80 overdose deaths in Surrey this year as of April 30, according to the latest statistics from B.C.’s coroner.
That’s an average of more than four a week.
If the deaths continue at the same rate for the remainder of the year, Surrey is on track to record more than 230 fatal overdoses in 2018.
That would be a significant jump from last year, when Surrey recorded 176 overdose deaths. The city saw 118 in 2016 and 76 in 2015.
Surrey’s overdose deaths continue to account for a significant number of the province’s total overdose deaths. So far this year, 511 people have died of overdose across the province, according to the latest statistics released by BC Coroner’s Service on June 7.
The City of Surrey’s death toll is second only to Vancouver’s, which has seen 135 overdose deaths in 2018 so far this year.
During the month of April alone, 124 people died of overdose in B.C.
For all of B.C., the coroner reports there was an 18 per cent decrease in April compared to the the number of deaths that occurred during the same month in 2017, as well as a slight dip compared to the 160 deaths in March of this year.
British Columbians under 50 years old are accounting for more of the overdose deaths in 2018 compared to recent years prior, according to the coroner.
Between January and April of 2017, people fatally overdosing aged 19 to 49 accounted for 70 per cent of overdose deaths.
So far in 2018, the same age group has accounted for 91 per cent of all B.C.’s overdose deaths.
As the number of all overdose deaths has been on the rise since 2016, so has the number of teen deaths due to illicit drugs, such as the deadly opioid fentanyl. In the first four months of the year, six youths between the ages of 10 and 18 have died of an overdose in B.C.
-With files from Black Press