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New data reveals 16 more toxic drug deaths in Burnaby over last two months

Burnaby's year-to-date illicit drug overdose toll has reached 41, according to the BC Coroners Services
B.C. Ambulance. | File photo

Burnaby does not appear to be on pace to match last year's death toll by unregulated, toxic drugs.

However, 16 more lives that called the community home were lost in the last two months, according to the BC Coroners Service's latest report on the public health emergency.

The new data today, Nov. 30, unveiled 41 deaths in Burnaby to date for 2023. The toll is as of Oct. 31.

The number is down 24 per cent from the same stats a year earlier, which saw 54 people die of illicit drugs in the first 10 months of 2022.

A total of 69 people died of unregulated drugs in Burnaby from all of last year, which, on record, sits as the municipality's second-highest toll in the last decade. 

Burnaby's highest-ever total since 2012 was 81 drug deaths in 2021, which was a 37 per cent increase from 59 in 2020.

Burnaby's year-to-date total is also part of 161 illicit drug overdose deaths recorded across the Fraser North health service delivery area since Jan. 1, 2023. 

However, Burnaby has now seen the eighth fewest unregulated drug deaths "by township of injury" in B.C. for 2023 thus far — well behind urban centres like Vancouver (522), Surrey (192) and Victoria (130).

Across B.C., 2.039 people have passed this year to illicit drugs.

The 189 deaths last month were a nine per cent drop from the toll in August 2022 (208) and seven per cent increase from September (177).

In 2023 to date, 70 per cent of fatalities were people aged 30 to 59 and more than 75 per cent of whom identified as male.