(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

School District 42 provides update on continued learning plan

Superintendent Sylvia Russell says staff will be in touch with Ridge Meadows students and families

LETTER: Upset by province’s stance against Lower Mainland hospice

Vocal Maple Ridge anti-MAiDs advocate opposes cancelling of contract with Delta facility

LETTER: Pandemic a little surreal for this guy

One day soon, COVID-19 will simply be a footnote: one Maple Ridge reader

GUEST VIEW: Media importance never more apparent than with COVID-19

In swan-song column, reporter Phil Melnychuk suggests more concerted PR early on might have helped

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare announces $3 million in provincial funding for Arts and Culture

Eligible clients will receive supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help pay bills

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Most Read