The Majority of Fatal Overdose Victims in B.C. Are Men, Shows BC Coroners Report

By , in Canada Health News on . Tagged width: , , , ,

A report released on 27 September by the BC Coroners Service shows that most of the British Columbians who died after drug overdoses were men who most likely died after using drugs alone at home.

The report contains 34 pages of information on fatal drug overdoses from 2016 and 2017.

According to the data and information on demographics, population, housing, employment, marital status, medical history, overdose location, way of consumption, drugs detected and more factors, the report released charts – which show a worrying fact. Lisa Lapointe, the chief coroner, recommends the people that take substances to at least take them while in the company of someone that can help them:

“We continue to urge those using substances to plan to take them in the company of someone who can provide help: administering naloxone and calling 911 for assistance.”

The report reviewed 872 illicit drug overdose deaths from the past two years and saw that 81% of the victims were male. Two-thirds of the males overdosed at home, while being alone.

Source: BC Coroners Service Chart

This shows that the overdose crisis doesn’t mainly affect the homeless people on the Downtown Eastside. The report found that only 9% of the homeless died of an overdose, and 13% of the deaths were of people living in social housing or hotel room. About 50% of the victims had a job at that time.

The main reasons for overdose deaths in B.C. were connected with mental illness and pain. Over 50% of the deaths were connected with a mental health diagnosis or a disorder, and almost the same number of deaths were related to pain issues.

A quarter of the deaths were of people that worked in trades and transportation. Most of the victims were regular users of illicit drugs. Two-thirds of the victims have never been married.

Three-quarters of all deaths were caused by Fentanyl use.

The BC Coroners Service has updated data on suspected drug overdose deaths in B.C. for the end of this August. It found a decrease of 27% (98 victims) overdose deaths compared to July (134).


Source: BC Coroners Service Chart

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.