The BC Coroners Service has released updated statistics regarding the number of illicit drug-related deaths in 2016.
From January through May 2016, there were 308 accidental illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia. This is a 75% increase over the number of deaths occurring during the same period in 2015 (176).
Preliminary data suggests that the proportion of illicit drug overdose deaths in which fentanyl was detected (alone or in combination with other drugs) increased to approximately 56% in the first four months of 2016. In previous years, the proportion was:
- 2012 = 5%
- 2013 = 15%
- 2014 = 25%
- 2015 = 31%
From January through May 2016, an average of 61.6 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths occurred each month. In 2015, the average number of illicit drug overdose deaths per month was 40.3.
In January 2016, there were 77 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths. This is the largest number of deaths in a single month for the examined period.
The 42 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths that occurred in May 2016 are fewer than occurred in each of the previous four months and are consistent with deaths in the same month in both 2014 and 2015 (41 and 42).
The full reports can be viewed at: