(Black Press Media files)

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

Two-thirds of those who have died in B.C.’s overdose crisis did not have contact with police over the past two years, figures from Statistics Canada found.

The numbers, released Tuesday, were the first part of the agency’s review of the social and economic conditions leading to a crisis that has killed thousands in the past few years.

Statistics Canada analyzed deaths between 2011 and 2016, the latter two years of which saw drug overdose figures jump sharply.

READ MORE: New in-depth report sheds light on who in BC is dying of drug overdoses

READ MORE: Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy

READ MORE: B.C. pharmacists to undergo specialized opioid training

Since 2016, illicit drug overdoses have killed 8,000 people across the country and B.C. is home to the highest number of people dying of illicit drug overdoses over the last eight years.

Statistics Canada found that although most overdose victims did not have recent contact with police, those who did had frequent contact.

The agency said that in the two years preceding their deaths, 11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police.

The numbers jumped up even higher for the three months before death, where one-third of those killed by a drug overdose were in contact with the police.

Of the crimes reported for those individuals, most were non-violent with shoplifting under $5,000 being the most common.

Reasons for contact with the police in the 24 months prior to death. (Statistics Canada)

The agency found that 34 per cent of fatal overdose victims did not have a job for any of the five years preceding their deaths.

Another 26 per cent were employed for each of those five years, with the most common jobs being in construction, building maintenance, waste management and other support services.

Just over a quarter of those killed by the overdose crisis were hospitalized in the year leading up to their deaths. The most common reasons were substance-use related disorders, followed by mental health conditions, opioid poisonings and miscellaneous injuries and poisonings.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Former MP Wayne Stetski running for BC NDP in Kootenay East

Former federal MP Wayne Stetski is running as the BC NDP candidate… Continue reading

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Conservation Officers seek public assistance

A mule deer buck was poached within Elkford town limits

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Editorial – Voters think little of political opportunism

John Horgan is playing a very cynical game with his own government’s health message

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read