Drug overdoses continue to rise in the central island area.
71 people died in the first 9 months of the year, up from 55 in 2016 and 30 in 2015
Fentanyl was detected in 83% of the deaths – an increase of 147%
Andy Watson from the BC Coroner Service says the Central Island Health Region has seen one of the largest overdose death rates in the province
According to statistics released yesterday, there has been a 150% increase of fentanyl deaths year over year in BC, with a large portion of those occurring in private residences where people are taking drugs alone, with no one to help them if they overdose.
There have been no overdose deaths at supervised consumption sites or drug overdose prevention sites, which Watson says is notable.
He said the majority of the 1100 overdose victims this year, are men between the age of 30 and 50.
He said if you know anyone using hard drugs, you should encourage them to use a safe site or have someone with naloxone with them when they use.
While more than half of the deaths in the Central Island were in Nanaimo, Watson said he could not release the number for Port Alberni indicating it was 5 or less per month, so release of data could carry privacy concerns.