(Pixabay)

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

The number of homeless people dying on the streets of B.C. more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, in the early onset of the opioid crisis, according to new data from the coroners service.

A total of 175 homeless people died across the province in 2016, compared to just 73 the year prior. The data released Thursday includes all cases where no fixed address or permanent address was found, or the circumstances suggested homelessness.

Of those who died, 53 per cent were living on the streets, while 36 per cent were living in shelters, temporarily renting, or at a hospital, correctional or rehabilitation facility.

READ MORE: Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January 2019

Roughly half of all deaths were due to a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning. In 2016, 991 people died of an illicit drug overdose, marking the beginning of a steady increase in the number of fatal overdoses linked to fentanyl.

Vancouver saw the highest number of deaths of 43, followed by 17 in Surrey, 16 in Victoria and 10 in Kelowna.

The coroners service said the data may be under-reported because of cases where an investigator could not confirm a person’s housing status.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Homelessness

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

Just Posted

UPDATED: Slocan River drowning victim’s body recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

University of Victoria, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read