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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Some north Island forest service roads to get a minor facelift with COVID-19 recovery funding

Side Bay access road no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to temporary budget increase

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read