More people died of toxic drugs and overdoses in Langley in 2020 than in any previous year, according to a report by the B.C. Coroner’s Service released Thursday.
There were 39 illicit drug toxicity deaths last year, up from 22 in 2019.
The previous worst year for drug deaths in Langley was 2017, when – at its peak –fentanyl and other powerful opioids, cut into illicit drugs, killed 36 people.
Until a few years ago, Langley’s annual overdose deaths averaged between five and 10 a year.
Overall, it was the worst year for drug deaths in B.C.’s history.
“The impacts of COVID-19 highlighted the immensely precarious situation of those experiencing problematic substance use in our province,” chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said during a news conference.
A total of 1,716 British Columbians died of overdoses and toxic drugs last year across the province.
– More to come