(File photo)

Mayor signs deal to find out more about overdose victims

Statistics Canada partnership hoped to 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.”

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Jan. 20 to 26

Minus two-degree weather a warm welcome following cold snap in Chilliwack

People flocked to the hills Saturday, sleds in hand, to take in some snowy fun in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

Charity Clothes2U ready to hand out free items to people in need in Chilliwack

The Clothes2U Winter Giveaway event will be in Chilliwack at Cooke’s Presbyterian Church

Pickup truck motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened on Young Road after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Vancouver police investigate after man found dead in vehicle

Man has not been identified and no one has been arrested

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read