The Trail RCMP is confirming a local woman, 35, has died of a suspected drug overdose.
First responders were called to the scene of deceased female in the 900-block of Spokane Street, in Trail, in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 26.
“It is believed that the woman succumbed to a suspected drug overdose earlier in the evening before being found by a friend,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said. “The friend reported the incident to authorities and provided support until first responders arrived.”
The woman’s death investigation has been turned over to the BC Coroner’s Service.
New measures have been proposed by government and are being supported locally to help reduce future tragedies, Wicentowich said.
“I would like to remind people to have patience and compassion as the opioid epidemic continues on in all communities,” he adds. “This time of the year is especially tough for the most vulnerable due to the cold weather. Donations for warm winter clothes to charities and food to food banks are a necessity for them.”
At least another 179 lives were lost to B.C.’s toxic drug supply in October, according to preliminary toxicology findings from the BC Coroners Service.
It marks a 14 per cent drop from the number of deaths in October 2021, but a four per cent increase over the month prior, when 172 people fatally overdosed.
In total in 2022 so far, 1,827 people have died from toxic drugs. That’s just nine deaths fewer than during the same period last year.
Three of those who died in October were under the age of 19. The majority of other deaths (150) were fairly evenly distributed between those aged 19 to 59. Another 22 people who died were in their 60s and three were in their 70s. The age of the final person is unknown.
By health authority, most October fatal overdoses occurred in Fraser Health (55) and Vancouver Coastal Health (53). A further 28 people died in each of Island Health and Interior Health, and 15 people passed in Northern Health.
On average across all of B.C., 41.7 people per 100,000 died from the toxic drug supply in October. That equals out to about 5.8 deaths per day.
Throughout all of 2022, the highest death rates have been in Lillooet, Cowichan Valley West, Terrace, Alberni/Clayoquot, and Merritt.
Private residence continue to be the spot where the vast majority of fatal overdoses occur. In 2022, 83 per cent of people died there, while 28 per cent died inside other residences – such as shelters, hotels and supportive housing – and 16 per cent died outside in vehicles, parks, streets or sidewalks.
The only real exception to this is in Vancouver Coastal Health, where more people die in other residences than in private ones.
The BC Coroners Service says no deaths have been reported at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites to date, and that there is no indication that prescribed safe supply is contributing to deaths.
B.C. is on track to surpass 2,000 deaths from the toxic drug crisis for a second year in a row, according to the latest death tolls from the coroners service.
Earlier this month, the service confirmed 171 lives lost in September, which is equal to approximately six people dying each day.
“Both those who use drugs occasionally and those who are substance-dependent are at risk of sudden death from the unpredictable illicit market,” stated Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner.
“Individuals who have been abstinent for a period of time or those who normally use stimulants are at increased risk. Their opioid tolerance is low and the prevalence of fentanyl in the illicit supply is high.”
A majority, or 71 per cent, of those who have fatally overdosed this year were between 30-59 years old.
Of those, 79 per cent have been men – statistics both consistent since illicit drugs started fatally poisoning a staggering number of British Columbians in 2016.
September was the 24th consecutive month in which at least 150 deaths suspected to have been caused by illicit drug toxicity were reported to the BC Coroners Service.
Illicit drug toxicity is the leading cause of unnatural death in British Columbia and is second only to cancers in terms of years of life lost.
At least 10,505 British Columbians have been lost to illicit drugs since the public-health emergency into substance-related harms was first declared in April 2016.
– with files from Jane Skrypnek and Ashley Wadhwani