(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

Haida Gwaii doctor wins lifetime achievement award

Dr. Tracy Morton recognized by Rural Coordination Centre of BC

Haida hereditary leader attends first Prince Rupert totem pole raising in 30 years

Lead carver Lyle Campbell raised 40-foot memorial totem pole Aug. 11 in memory of his mother Alice

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

Haida GwaiIdol premiere may include special guest performance

Lineup includes musicians, dancer, comedian and more; One of the judges ‘may do a guest performance’

Rennell Sound road access to be closed over Labour Day weekend

Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District temporarily closing Rennell Road Aug. 31 to Sept. 7

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due.

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Most Read