Man found dead in Abbotsford parking lot likely died from overdose

City on pace for more than 60 overdose deaths in 2017

A man who was found dead in a Gladys Avenue parking lot Friday morning is believed to have died from an overdose.

Fire, police and emergency health crews were called to a parking lot next to the Salvation Army around 8:40 a.m. after the body of a man in his 30s was found.

Police say the death is a suspected overdose. If that bears out, it will add to 2017’s grisly death toll from illegal drugs in Abbotsford.

Through just the first four months of the year, 21 people had died from illicit drug overdoses. That had Abbotsford on pace for 63 deaths on the year, a staggering number that would be more than 50 per cent higher than 2016. Last year was already a particularly bad year for overdose deaths, with 39 recorded in Abbotsford.

Across B.C., 488 overdose deaths were recorded through the end of April, a rate significantly higher than in 2016. As in Abbotsford, 2016’s death toll was already staggering, with 935 people dying from overdose.

Friday’s suspected overdose death in Abbotsford would actually be relatively rare in one respect, though, because the vast majority of fatalities occur inside. Only 10 per cent of overdoses occurred outside, according to statistics from the BC Coroners Service.