Some batches of fentanyl-tainted drugs have been reportedly more resistant to Naloxone. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Some batches of fentanyl-tainted drugs have been reportedly more resistant to Naloxone. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

So far 15 people from Chilliwack have died from illicit toxic drugs in 2022

Across B.C. 940 OD deaths were recorded due to a toxic supply, according to coroners service

Out of 195 people across B.C. who died from toxic-drug overdose in the first five months of the year, 15 were from Chilliwack.

“After a catastrophic 2021, I am saddened to report that we are, once again, on pace to lose a record number of our community members in 2022,” said Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner for BC Coroners Service, after preliminary overdose reports up to May 2022 were released.

Province-wide there were at least 940 lives lost to toxic drugs between January and May, a record number for the first five months of a calendar year.

“The illicit drug supply in this province continues to be volatile and inconsistent, and presents a significant risk to anyone who uses drugs,” Lapointe said.

The 15 OD deaths in Chilliwack tallied from Jan to May 2022, put the city in last place in terms of townships of injury, 15th out of 15 municipalities. To compare, there were 16 such deaths in Maple Ridge, 41 in Abbotsford and 99 in Surrey during the same period.

At the rate of three per month, Chilliwack is still on pace for 36 overdose deaths in 2022, compared to a total of 57 in 2021, and 37 in 2020.

Following two months of numbers on the decline, the province-wide total of 195 deaths in May is the highest number ever recorded in that month. It represents a 20 per cent increase over the number of deaths reported in April 2022 (162), and means an average of about 6.3 deaths per day.

Testing results further underscored the volatility of the toxic drug supply. Since it was first implemented in July 2020, results from the new expedited testing protocol have found that about 91 per cent of submitted samples have detected fentanyl and/or its analogues, 73 per cent have at least one stimulant, 19 per cent have detected at least one other opioid and 44 per cent saw at least one benzodiazepine.

The highest number of overdose deaths, by health authority so far in 2022, were reported in Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities (302 and 263 deaths, respectively), making up 60 per cent of all such deaths during this period.

RELATED: B.C. OD deaths 195 highest ever for month of May in B.C.

RELATED: Chilliwack OD deaths broke record before end of 2021

Do you have a story idea to share? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


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