British Columbia

Overdose crisis continues in B.C. with 120 deaths last month, coroner says

The B.C. Coroners Service's latest figures show almost exactly the same number of people died by drug overdose between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2018 as during the same period last year.

An average of 4 people died per day in November

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said earlier in 2018 that quickly and widely distributing the anti-overdose drug naloxone is "key" to preventing overdose deaths. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

There were 120 suspected drug overdose deaths in British Columbia last month, representing a 13 per cent increase over the number of deaths in the same month last year.

The B.C. Coroners Service says an average of four people died every day last month from an illicit drug overdose.

The latest figures show 1,380 people died by overdose between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2018, almost exactly the same number of dead as between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2017.

The service says the majority of those dying from overdoses are men who are 30 to 59 years old, and most overdoses are occurring indoors.

The three cities experiencing the highest number of illicit drug overdoses are Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

The coroners service says 1,486 people died of overdoses in B.C. last year.

It is expected to announce the overall death toll for 2018 next month.