Numbers released by the B.C. Coroners Service highlight the devastating effects of the overdose crisis in the province.
There were 1,422 overdose deaths in 2017, a 43 per cent increase compared to 2016, which saw 914 deaths. This past year was the deadliest for overdose deaths in the province’s history.
Coroner Lisa Lapointe said the cause of the crisis over the last few years is clear.
“The number of overdose deaths not involving fentanyl has remained relatively stable at 300. So but for fentanyl, we would not be seeing the deaths that we are seeing.”
Fentanyl continues to play a big role, with 81 per cent of overdose deaths suspected to have involved the opioid.
Top 5 cities
Vancouver 300 (Up from 234 in 2016)
Surrey 148 (Up from 121 in 2016)
Victoria 78 (Up from 69 in 2016)
Kelowna 66 (Up from 47 in 2016)
Nanaimo 43 (Up from 28 n 2016)
In an attempt to spread awareness and guide parents to look for the signs that indicate their children might be involved in selling drugs or consuming them, Sergeant Jag Khosa has shared a video on social media.
Jag Khosa is Organized Crime Agency of BC (OCABC) Gang Intervention officer for Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (BC’s Anti Gang Police).
He has been involved in policing for the past 11 years in both B.C. and Alberta; and originally was member of the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia in 2005, before joining the Edmonton Police Service. He came back to OCABC in 2011.
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