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HomeNewsOverdose numbers in Northern BC steady for January 2018

Overdose numbers in Northern BC steady for January 2018

January of this year, saw a decrease of 12 per cent in the number of overdose deaths in BC compared to last. But, compared to December 2017, the number jumped up 25 per cent.

All health authorities except Northern Health saw a rise in overdose deaths in January 2018 compared to December 2017.

“The numbers from a statistical point of view are not large enough for us to say anything definitive from one month to the next,” says Andrew Gray, Medical Health officer for Northern Health. “We’ve had five deaths in January 2018, but if you look back to the course of the last year, month to month was sitting at two to eight deaths per month.”

Photo courtesy: BC Coroners Service

There were 125 suspected overdose deaths in the first month of the year, five of those in the northern region. Overall health authorities are seeing a decline.

“That actually continues the pattern we’ve seen, that’s not new this month. Overall for 2017 we have been seeing a decline in the number of deaths per month, compared to the beginning of 2017 and late 2016, which was when the crisis was the worst, in terms of numbers.”

In saying that, Gray added these numbers are higher than they ever were in the past and there is a lot of work to be done.

Gray hopes Northern Healths continue efforts to provide care and breakdown stigma associated with the crisis will help to reduce mortality rates from drugs.

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