Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (Facebook)

Vancouver records ‘ghastly’ death count from suspected overdoses: mayor

So far in 2018, 206 people have died in Vancouver from suspected overdoses

The suspected overdose deaths of 11 people last week in Vancouver has set what the mayor calls a “ghastly” death-count record for 2018.

The city says the week of July 23 was the worst on record this year for suspected overdose deaths based on statistics from the police department.

So far in 2018, 206 people have died in Vancouver from suspected overdoses.

The latest overdose statistics for the province show there was a dip in the number of suspected illicit drug deaths in June compared with the same month a year earlier.

There were 105 illicit drug overdose deaths across B.C. in June, a drop from 123 in the same month last year.

Mayor Gregor Robertson called last week’s death count for the city “simply ghastly” in a news release.

“We don’t see signs that we’ve turned a corner on this public health disaster in Vancouver,” he said. “A poisoned supply of street drugs continues to kill our loved ones and devastate families across our city. Lives are on the line — people need access to safe prescription drugs rather than being forced to turn to the deadly drugs from organized crime on our streets.”

The number of deaths due to overdoses last week must still be confirmed by the BC Coroners Service.

The fire department says it responded to 147 overdose calls last week, a 47 per cent increase from the previous week, and 24 per cent higher than the weekly average for 2017.

The city says frontline workers suspect the increase in overdoses and related deaths are due to high toxicity in street drugs.

In Vancouver last year, 366 people died from suspected overdoses.

Across B.C., fentanyl has been detected in 81 per cent of the drug overdose deaths in the first six months of 2018, the coroner’s service said this week. The powerful painkiller appears to account for the spike in illicit drug overdose deaths since 2012, as the number of deaths excluding fentanyl has remained relatively stable since 2011, it said.

Illicit drug overdose deaths climbed to more than 1,400 in 2017 from about 300 in 2012, surpassing suicide and car accidents to become the leading cause of unnatural deaths in British Columbia.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Giants begin playoff run in Langley tonight

With one win and a loss last weekend, the G-Men now top the Western Conference

UFV introduces first mindfulness graduate program in Canada

Most of the University of the Fraser Valley program is offered online

Punching Parkinson’s in the Fraser Valley

Rock Steady Boxing program, designed to help battle symptoms of Parkinson’s, coming to Abbotsford in April

WATCH: Langley Glow events denied permission to run

Darvonda Nurseries received a notice from the ALC on March 5.

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

The incident happened Friday morning at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory

Organic Matters tea recalled across B.C. due to Salmonella

Recall for OM tea products is B.C. wide, possibly national.

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Most Read