Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 24, 2020. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe speaks during a press conference at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 24, 2020. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

In Surrey, 19 people died of overdoses in November

Surrey continues to see the second-highest number of fatal overdoses in the province

Surrey continues to see the second-highest number of fatal overdoses in the province.

In November, there were 19 people lost their lives to suspected drug overdoses deaths in the city, according to the latest data released from the BC Coroners Service on Monday (Dec. 21).

That’s down slightly from the 21 suspected fatal overdoses in October, but up from the 16 in September.

The 19 fatalities in November brings Surrey’s total to 189 so far in 2020.

In November 2019, there were seven overdose deaths in Surrey.

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Illicit drug overdoses by month of death, broken down by health authority and some municipalities. (Image: BC Coroners Service)

Throughout B.C., there were 153 illicit drug deaths in November, which is equal to five people per day losing their lives to illicit drug overdoses.

READ ALSO: 153 people died of drug overdoses in November in B.C.; deaths climb in seniors, Dec. 21, 2020

“Tragically, as we reach the end of 2020, our province is facing a record-breaking year for lives lost due to a toxic illicit drug supply,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.

“In the five years of this public health emergency, more than 6,500 families have experienced the grief and sadness of losing a loved one to the challenging medical condition of drug addiction. I extend my sincere condolences to all of those grieving a family member, friend or colleague due to this disease.”

Between January and August this year, Surrey surpassed the total number of deaths in 2019, which was 119. That was down from the 214 deaths in 2018.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s overdose death toll this year already exceeds 2019 total, Sept. 24, 2020

Surrey’s total fatal overdoses are only surpassed by Vancouver, which has seen 367 in the last 11 months.

Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria are the three municipalities in the province experiencing the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020.

In 2019, 984 people died – a majority, or due to illicit fentanyl, a powerful street-level opioid.

Provincewide, there have been 1,548 overdose deaths this year.

The BC Coroners Service says toxicology results suggest “a greater number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations from April to November 2020 compared with previous months.”

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Total overdose fatalities, broken down by municipality. This data is from Jan. 1, 2010 to Nov. 30, 2020. (Image: BC Coroners Service)



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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