By the end of October, more than 620 people in B.C. had died from drug overdoses in 2016. That’s up markedly from the 397 deaths in the same 10 months of 2015.
Of those who died this year, 332 (roughly 60 per cent) fatalities came as a result of the additive fentanyl.
Those are the most recent numbers available to us and they have no doubt climbed even higher during the past six weeks.
For today’s four-story series Dying to get high, reporter Monique Tamminga spoke with some of the the people who are dealing with the fallout of illegal drug use and overdose deaths in Langley.
Among them is an Aldergrove funeral director — a former addict — who is desperate to get the message out to local youth before he is forced to see them in a professional capacity, as he has done far too often.
He’s working with various emergency services to create what he describes as a ‘shocking’ video — one that paints a grim picture of the potential end result of the decision to use drugs.
Another former addict, who now works to help users get clean, believes early intervention and access to methadone are the keys to saving lives.
For a group of students, staff and parents of two Walnut Grove Secondary graduates, the damage has been done, with the overdose deaths of the two promising young men.
Their hope in creating a video, which is posted on YouTube, is that someone will think twice before they make a potentially fatal decision.
Unfortunately, each of these people is fighting what can only be described as a losing battle to prevent more people from becoming statistics.
Whether it’s seasoned users or curious youth trying drugs for the first time, fentanyl doesn’t discriminate when it chooses its victims.
As long as there is money to be made — and there is, a lot of it — the body count will continue to climb.