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According to the latest reports published by the BC Coroners Service, this past September, 127 people have died in BC due to suspected illicit drug overdoses.

That number equates to 4.2 overdose deaths per day in the month of September alone.

This number represents a 112 percent increase from the same month in 2019. However, this is also a decrease in the number of overdose-related deaths in August 2020, which saw 150 overdose-related deaths.

Up to this point in 2020, more than 1,000 people have died from overdosing in BC alone, passing the total number of overdose-related deaths in BC in all of 2019.

In 2020, 70 percent of the deaths were people aged 30 to 59, and men accounted for 80 percent of all overdose deaths.

Vancouver, Surrey, and Victoria have experienced the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020, with the Fraser Health Authority having the highest number of deaths of all other health authorities in the province.

Rates of overdose deaths decreased in recent months since the high numbers in May and June of 2020.

Island Health reminds us of ways to reduce the risk of overdosing:

  • Avoid using alone
  • For any new drug, try a small amount first
  • When using with a buddy, stagger the use so someone can respond if needed
  • Avoid using more than one drug at a time
  • Use an Overdose Prevention Service


If you or someone you know is battling with drug abuse, visit the government’s Stop Overdose website for more information on getting involved, getting informed, or getting help with overdose prevention.


Lauryn is a fourth-year Digital Media Studies student. She has had her work featured in the Powell River Peak, Portal Magazine, and The Discourse. When she’s not looking up fun facts about bees, she’s probably fantasying about Portland, Oregon.

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