(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.

Just Posted

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

Ladysmith wins ‘Brownie’ Reach Out award for communication of Waterfront Plan

The Town of Ladysmith has received national recognition for the successful public… Continue reading

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital raising funds for new surgical suite

The new suite will reduce endoscopy wait times for residents from Ladysmith to Bowser

Belair Street development ready for next steps following public hearing

Fred Green’s Belair Street development cleared another hurdle at a Town of Ladysmith public hearing

Strike taking a toll on families of WFP workers with Christmas approaching

Donations being sought at the union hall in Duncan to provide assistance

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read