Crisis of opiates: less than 100 dead monthly for the first time in nine months

News 10 September, 2017
  • QMI agency

    Sunday, 10 September 2017, 15:23

    Sunday, 10 September 2017, 15:23

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    VANCOUVER | Less than 100 people have lost their lives as a result of a drug overdose in July in British Columbia for the first time in nine months.

    In total, 91 persons were victims of a fatality in overdose in July, show data compiled by the office of the chief coroner of the province.

    It is necessary to go back to October 2016 to find a month where less than 100 people had lost their lives because of an overdose. The crisis had reached its peak in December, with 161 deaths.

    Despite this improvement, 876 people died of a drug overdose from January 1 to July 31, 2017, compared to 482 during the same period in 2016. This is an increase of nearly 82 % of the number of victims.

    In comparison, 978 consumer had perished in 2016.

    In 2017, more than four victims out of five are men (82,2 %), authorities have indicated, specifying 73.6% of the victims are aged between 30 and 59 years of age.

    Traces of fentanyl, an opioid 40 times more powerful than heroin have been found in the bodies of 81 % of the victims. “In the majority of the deaths on which we investigate, we detect fentanyl with other drugs. This reality poses serious challenges to the users of illicit drugs”, explained to the media the chief coroner, Lisa Lapointe.

    In 2016, the fentanyl has been linked to 67 % of all deaths in British Columbia, compared to 29% in 2015.

    Long anticipated, the problem of fentanyl began in Quebec, the drug that has made its entry into the montreal market. Last month, 12 people have died from an overdose of fentanyl in Montreal.