Victoria/Fraser Valley – The BC Coroners Service has published updated reports on illicit drug toxicity deaths and fentanyl-detected drug deaths to the end of May 2019.
For Abbotsford, the death rate is on pace to equal last year, while there has been a drop in Chilliwack.
The number of illicit drug-related deaths in BC for the first five months of 2019 shows a year-over-year decrease, with 86 and 84 illicit drug-related deaths in April and May 2019 respectively, down from 137 and 116 for the same months for 2018.
Overall in BC , there have been 462 illicit drug toxicity deaths in the first five months of 2019, down 30% from the 2018 total (651) over the same period. The data is subject to change and totals for 2019 will likely increase as post-mortem testing results are received, but it is a sign for cautious optimism.
Key findings of these drug death reports include:
* The monthly average for illicit drug deaths for the first five months of 2019 (92 deaths/month) is down by approximately one-third from the same period in 2018 (130 deaths/month).
* More than two-thirds of the illicit-drug deaths in the first five months of 2019 involved people aged 30 to 59 years, and males account for almost four in every five of all illicit-drug deaths over the same period.
* For the first five months of 2019, almost nine in every 10 illicit drug deaths occurred inside, including more than half in private residences.
* Over the same time-period, there were 58 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected in May 2019 and 67 in April 2019.
* Carfentanil was detected in almost one-quarter (102 of 383) of the fentanyl-detected deaths in the first five months of 2019. There were 35 carfentanil-detected deaths in 2018.
* Fentanyl or its analogues were detected in approximately 83% of illicit drug deaths for the first five months of 2019 and 87% of illicit drug deaths for all of 2018. By comparison, in 2012, fentanyl was detected in only 4% of illicit drug deaths.
* No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.
Illicit drug overdose death report: