Fraser Valley/Victoria – An increasingly toxic and volatile illicit drug supply has claimed at least 201 lives in October and 1,782 lives in the first 10 months of 2021, according to the latest preliminary data released by the BC Coroners Service.
October is the first month in which 200 lives were lost to illicit drugs in B.C. The 1,782 lives lost between January and October already represent the highest number of deaths due to drug toxicity ever recorded in the province in a calendar year. More than 8,300 people have died as a result of drug toxicity since the public health emergency into substance-related harms was declared in April 2016.
Abbotsford and Chilliwack have smashed previous records.
Post-mortem toxicology results suggest that there has been a greater number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations after Apr 2020 compared with previous months.
Carfentanil has been detected in 152 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2021 (Jan-Oct) and 66 deaths in 2020. This is subject to change as further toxicology results are received.