May 10, 2023 – BC is a province with a population of around five million people, which, for context, is significantly less than London’s roughly nine million people. In BC, an average of almost seven people die from a drug overdose each day; 596 people tragically met their end that way in the first three months of 2023. For comparison, according to the latest drug death statistics in England and Wales, there were 296 drug use deaths in London in 2020 – and that’s the highest since records began. But in BC, a total of 11,000 people have died from an overdose since 2016. 

Often the overdoses are linked to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which has gradually become more available than heroin on the street corners of Canada over the years. Between January and September 2022, an estimated 81 per cent of accidental apparent opioid toxicity deaths involved fentanyl.