Like January, BC continues to see a record number of opioid-related deaths, and has seen the deadliest February due to opioids.
According to the BC Coroners Service’s February report, BC lost 155 people to a toxic illicit drug supply.
BC recorded an average of 5.5 deaths per day, marking a 107 per cent increase over the number of deaths in February 2020.
The BC Coroners reported that February was the second consecutive month in which the average number of daily deaths was above 5.
18 of the 155 deaths were from carfentanil — a more lethal variable of fentanyl — which is an increase of 12% from this January.
So far, a total of 329 illicit drug toxicity deaths have been reported this week, 81% which were male.
The total overall death rate in 2021 is 38 deaths per 100,000 individuals.
“In 2019, before the pandemic, we brought overdose deaths down for the first time since 2012,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“Our collective efforts to add more supervised consumption services, increased access to naloxone and treatment options made a difference and saved lives. We brought deaths down before and we’ll do it again.”
The communities experiencing the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2021 are Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.
No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.