2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

More than 2,000 Canadians died from an opioid overdose in the first half of 2018, according to the latest numbers release by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Of those 2066 deaths, 754 happened in B.C.

Tragically, that means more than 9,000 lives were lost in Canada between January 2016 and June 2018 to apparent opioid-related overdoses, Health Canada said in a news release Wednesday.

READ MORE: Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy

“These statistics suggest that we have not yet turned the tide on the crisis,” the release said.

Of all overdose deaths, 72 per cent involved the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Overdose_Canada_BC
Infogram

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer said the need to increase access to a “safer supply” of opioids is being reviewed with provinces and territories — a move encouraged by a number of public health experts, including B.C. chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacists to undergo specialized opioid training

READ MORE: Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

Other data released alongside death tolls in each province included the number of hospitalizations due to opioid-related poisonings, which saw a 27 per cent increase over the past five years. Smaller cities saw double the rates of hospital visits compared to Canada’s larger cities.

Canadian Institute for Health president David O’Toole said the data shows the opioid crisis is not just a “big city problem.”

READ MORE: Health minister announces $72M in emergency funding for B.C.’s opioid crisis

In B.C., 1,143 people died of an overdose between January and September.

With a file from The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pay cuts, seating charts, COVID screening: How one Sidney venue is bringing back concerts

A growing number of bars and restaurants are welcoming back musicians under COVID-19 precautions

Newly appointed Resilient Saanich committee to weigh in on new environmental policy framework

Council selects nine members, First Nations representative position remains open

Greater Victoria Point-in-Time count finds over 1,500 people homeless

Capital Regional District says count should be treated as an underestimate

CRD cost estimate study looks at regional housing, transportation affordability

Study paints clearer picture of true cost of living in Greater Victoria

City of Victoria expecting a 2020 deficit between $12.5 to $17.5 million

Victoria lost $1.2 million per month just from reduced parking fees during onset of pandemic

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

Most Read