(File photo)

Surrey partners with Statistics Canada on opioid data collection

Surrey Mayor says partnership will create better understanding of demographic that is overdosing

SURREY — Mayor Linda Hepner says a partnership just signed with Statistics Canada will mean Surrey will soon know more about who is overdosing in the city, and where.

“It will bring together federal, provincial and municipal data for Surrey in a way that’s never been done to date,” Hepner told the Now-Leader. “Statistics Canada, with their statistical expertise and all the robust data sets they have, we’re going to shape approaches for intervention and support.”

See also: Average of 15 die of overdose each month in Surrey

See also: More than 1,000 people have died as a result of the overdose crisis in 2017

Hepner said Surrey is the first municipality in Canada to sign such a partnership with Statistics Canada amid the opioid overdose epidemic.

It will mean a “much better understanding of the demographic,” she said.

“Are there opportunities for intervention at the school level? Are there issues around health? Is it a pain-related issue? Are issues poverty related? We will be able to create primary risk factors and create a much better understanding of the characteristics of those most at risk.”

Surrey Fire Service data will be utilized, she noted, to learn exactly where overdoses are happening.

The new program’s working group is in place, Hepner added, and they will “work quickly.”

An average of 15 people have died of overdose each month in Surrey in 2017.

In all, 123 people have been killed by illicit drugs in the city so far this year, as of the end of August.

The death toll in Surrey peaked in May, with 21 deaths that month.

Thirteen people died in January, 15 in February, 14 in March, 12 in April, 13 in June, 17 in July and 18 in August.

Surrey’s drug death toll this year is second only to Vancouver, which has seen 255 people killed so far this year.

Meantime, B.C. has hit a record number of illicit overdose deaths.

In all, 1,013 people in B.C. have died as a result of the overdose crisis in 2017, which is 83 more than the total death toll in all of 2016.

The Coroners Service says 88.5 per cent of all drug overdose deaths happened inside and 11 per cent outside or in vehicles.

In August, the latest numbers available from the BC Coroners Service, 113 people are suspected to have died of drug overdose, which equates to about 3.6 deaths per day for the month.

The August deaths are a 79 per cent increase over the same month in 2016.

-With files from Katya Slepian



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Two women injured in late-night assault outside White Rock restaurant

‘All he had to do was turn around and leave’ - victim

Surrey school district surpasses projected enrolment

Lastest student numbers as of Sept. 30

Surrey Schools reminds parents, students of cannabis restrictions

District says approach ‘similar’ to alcohol, tobacco policies

Former Surrey cop Dario Devic gets four-month ‘jail sentence to be served in the community’

Former RCMP officer will be under house arrest for two months after Creep Catchers bust in Surrey

SLIDESHOW: PAN’s week in pictures

Highlights from this week’s Peace Arch News

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

UPDATE: Murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday in Abbotsford, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Man who sexually assaulted teen is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Most Read

l -->