Eight months into 2020, Surrey has surpassed the total number of overdose deaths from the year prior.
Since the start of the year, there have been 130 fatal overdoses in the city, according to data released by the BC Coroners Service Wednesday (Sept. 23).
That’s compared to the 119 in 2019, which was down from the 214 in 2018 numbers.
Surrey’s total fatal overdoses are only surpassed by Vancouver, which has seen 259 in the last eight months.
Provincewide, overdose deaths have also exceeded the 2019 death toll. B.C.’s eight-month total is 1,068.
In 2019, 983 people died – a majority, or due to illicit fentanyl, a powerful street-level opioid.
Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria are the three municipalities in the province experiencing the highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020.
There were 16 overdose deaths in Surrey in August. That’s roughly one fatality every two days.
There were 147 throughout B.C., which is roughly five deaths per day.
The new death toll comes just a week after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued an order allowing registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe safer drugs as a way to curb the use of illicit drugs.
– With files from Ashley Wadhwani