Fraser Health has started handing out these posters about the dangers of fentanyl overdoses and what people can do to save a life.                                 black press photo

Fraser Health has started handing out these posters about the dangers of fentanyl overdoses and what people can do to save a life. black press photo

Eight overdose deaths in Abbotsford brings 11-month total to 37

City had seen 52 deaths in 2017, but total remains well above historical averages

Eight more people died of opioid overdoses in Abbotsford in October and November.

That figure, released last week by the BC Coroners Service, brings the total number of overdose deaths in Abbotsford over the first 11 months of the year to 37.

Across the province, 1,380 people have died, leaving British Columbia on pace to exceed last year’s grim overdose death count of 1,486.

Abbotsford is likely to see fewer deaths than last year, when 52 people died of overdoses. But the figure is still dramatically higher than before the dawn of the current overdose crisis, in 2015. Prior to that year, the highest number of overdoses had been 16 – in 2011. Other years saw between four and 10 such deaths. But the figures shot up in 2015, when 27 people died. Forty people perished from overdoses the following year.

Four of every five people who die are men, with most victims aged between 30 and 59. Eighty-six per cent of all fatal overdoses take place inside a building of some sort, and more than half are in a private home.

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