Twenty-four people dead in Coquitlam from toxic drug supply in 2022: Coroners report

400 percent increase over the last decade
Fentanyl was detected in 82 percent of all illicit drug deaths in 2022, compared to just 5 percent in 2012. Image supplied

As of Oct. 31, 24 people have died in Coquitlam so far this year from B.C.’s toxic illegal drug supply, according to the latest report from BC Coroners Service.

The city’s death toll is lower than the record set in 2021 (31 deaths), but it’s still a 400 percent increase over the last decade.

The Tri-Cities were on track to have its worst year for toxic drug deaths during the first eight months of the year, with 34 deaths recorded by August. 

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The death rate in the Tri-Cities are still less than half provincial average in 2022. There are a combined 19.6 deaths per 100,000 people locally, while the B.C. rate is 42 deaths per 100,000 people.

The Fraser North area under Fraser Health is also well below the provincial average, with 25 deaths per 100,000. 

There have been 150 deaths recorded in Fraser North this year, compared to a total of 238 in 2021.

Overall deaths in B.C. this year are on par with 2021, which was the most deadly year ever recorded with 2,267 deaths – an 840 percent increase since 2012.

Deaths in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities account for over 58 percent of the total 1,827 deaths in 2022. 

In October alone, an average 5.8 people were dying each day. 

Fentanyl was detected in 82 percent of all illicit drug deaths, either alone in combination with other drugs, compared to just five percent a decade ago. Toxicology results are showing an increase in extreme fentanyl concentrations since November 2021.

Benzodiazepines, a sedative that does not respond to Narcan and is often combined with fentanyl, was detected in 52 percent of samples in January 2022. That number has now decreased to 22 percent.

Men account for 78 percent of the total deaths, and 70 percent of those dying were aged 30 to 59.

The vast majority of deaths occurred inside, with 55 percent occurring inside private residences and 28 percent occurring in social or supportive housing. Only 16 percent of deaths occurred outside. 

No deaths were reported in supervised consumption or overdose prevention sites.

The top four drugs associated with toxicity deaths were fentanyl (86%), cocaine (45%), methamphetamine/amphetamine (42%), and other opioids (23%).

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