CHARTS: Drug overdose deaths in B.C. by city, region

Vancouver is top B.C. city for drug fatalities, but high numbers also in Surrey, Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Kelowna

Fentanyl may be passed off as Oxycontin or can be added to other opiates sold by dealers.

Fentanyl was a factor in nearly half of B.C.’s illegal drug overdose deaths in the first three months of 2016, according to new statistics released by the B.C. Coroners Service.

That’s up sharply from last year, when the powerful and often deadly opiate was detected in 32 per cent of drug overdose deaths, and from 25 per cent in 2014.

A total of 256 drug overdose deaths were recorded from January to April 30, compared to 480 in all of 2015.

While Vancouver accounted for 49 drug overdose deaths so far this year, there have been large numbers in other cities – 31 in Surrey, 17 in Victoria, 15 in Nanaimo and 14 each in Kamloops and Kelowna.

Explore the data with our interactive charts below

The Fraser Health region accounted for the largest overall number of overdoses so far in 2016 – 76 up until April 30 after 171 deaths in 2015 – followed by Metro Vancouver, with 66 deaths this year.

However, more of the deaths so far this year were fentanyl-linked in Metro Vancouver.

In most cases where fentanyl was a factor, it was used in combination with other drugs.

Significant numbers of overdose deaths are also being recorded in other regions – 54 so far this year on Vancouver Island, 45 in the Interior and 28 within the Northern health region.

Three youths aged 10 to 19 are among the dead due to fentanyl so far this year, and four others in that age group died of drug overdoses that were not linked to fentanyl.

The latest statistics come a month after Provincial Health Officer Perry Kendall declared a first-ever public health emergency in B.C. to try to address the sharp rise in opioid drug overdoses.

The measure empowers more rapid collection of data from regional and provincial authorities, so overdose treatment kits can be quickly deployed to specific areas when there are new incident clusters.

Health Minister Terry Lake said Thursday he believes lives were saved in recent weeks in Kamloops as a result of authorities being able to quickly react to real-time information.

Create your own infographics

Just Posted

James and Jamesy return to Penticton for more Christmas tea

Their Dec. 17 show explores friendship, the joy of giving, and a celebration of the imagination

Santa Parade lights up the streets of Penticton

People lined Main Street through the rain and chill in the air.

Tenore trio want to celebrate a Christmas with You

The tenor group performs at Penticton’s Church of the Nazarene tonight at 6 p.m.

Help the RCMP cram the kennel today at Cherry Lane

RCMP officers and volunteers will be filling kennels with donated food and pet supplies.

Summerland college operated from 1906 to 1915

Ritchie Hall and Morton Hall were constructed for Okanagan Baptist College

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Police negotiate with man barricaded in Victoria synagogue

Children evacuated from daycare on site

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Man with possible ties to Kelowna wanted by Vernon RCMP

Dustin Kenneth Veselic may be connected to the Kelowna area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

Farm buildings drive value of Sumnmerland’s November building permits

Permits issued so far this year total $45,378,800

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

Most Read