Overdose deaths continue to rise in Kamloops and across B.C.

Forty-three people died of drug overdoses in Kamloops between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, according to figures released by the BC Coroners Service. Provincially, more than 1,200 people have died.

Kamloops will likely record a record number of illicit drug deaths in 2020, with an average of one person dying of overdose every 6.3 days.

Forty-three people died of drug overdoses in Kamloops between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, according to figures released on Tuesday (Oct. 20) by the BC Coroners Service — up from 25 in all of 2019 and nearing a high of 46, recorded in 2018.

article continues below

Across B.C., more than 1,200 people have died of drug overdose through the end of September. That number is up significantly from 981 in all of 2019, but still below the record mark of 1,547, set in 2018.

Provincially, 127 people died of drug overdoses in September, down from 150 in August, 178 in July and 183 in June — which was an all-time monthly high for the province.

Prior to the opioid crisis hitting B.C. in 2015, Kamloops routinely recorded between two and 10 overdoses in an entire year, while the province would typically see between 200 and 350 such deaths annually.

So far in 2020, B.C. is recording an average of 4.2 illicit drug deaths per day, according to the coroners service. Seventy per cent of those who have died are between 30 and 59 years of age and the overwhelming majority — 80 per cent — have been men.

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria account for the most overdose deaths so far in 2020.

Fentanyl continues to be the drug most associated with the deaths.

Monthly overdose deaths across B.C. have trended downward the last three months of 2020 from a high of 183 in June, but are still much higher than in 2019 and more in line with 2018. In September there were 127 overdose deaths down from 150 in August and 178 in July. From June to September 2019, overdose deaths averaged in the low to mid-70s and in 2018 averaged 130 a  onth for those four months. 

© Kamloops This Week



Question of the Week POLL

How has the pandemic impacted your Christmas plans from a financial perspective?

or  view results

Popular Kamloops This Week

Events Calendar

Help Us Help Kamloops. Support Local Media.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kamloops This Week is now soliciting donations from readers. This program is designed to support our local journalism in a time where our advertisers are unable to due to their own economic constraints. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free. This is a means for those who can afford to support local media to help ensure those who can’t afford to can get access to trusted local information. You can make a one-time or a monthly donation of any amount and cancel at any time .

NEW: For every donation of $25 or greater, we will offer a digital advertising package to the local non-profit group of your choice.

Click on https://support.kamloopsthisweek.com for more information or to make your donation.

Thank you in advance for your support.