The latest stats from the BC Coroners Service show fentanyl impacted the East Kootenay in 2017, but not as hard as the rest of the province.
Four fentanyl related deaths were reported in our region last year, down from six in 2016.
However, Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe says fentanyl was detected in 81 per cent of fatalities in British Columbia.
“Since 2012, the number of fentanyl-related implicated deaths has grown exponentially,” Lapointe says. “The number of overdose deaths not involving fentanyl has remained relatively stable at 300. So but for fentanyl, we would not be seeing the deaths that we’re seeing.”
Lapointe is calling 2017 the worst year for illicit drug overdoses in the province’s history with preliminary numbers showing 1422 deaths.
That’s around 430 more than in 2016.
(Charts of Illicit Drug Overdose Deaths and Fentanyl-Detected Deaths from the BC Coroner’s Service)
– Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe, BC Coroner’s Service