Overdose Crisis

Overdose deaths drop 23 per cent in Abbotsford

Forty suspected overdose deaths in the city in 2018 a significant decrease from 52 in 2017

Forty people died of suspected overdoses in Abbotsford last year, a 23 per cent decrease from the 52 deaths in 2017.

In fact, Abbotsford appears to be somewhat of an anomaly, as the overdose crisis continues to shake the province – 1,489 deaths across B.C. last year was almost exactly the same as in 2017.

“It is only through the combined efforts of the community at large that we are slowly able to move the needle on this devastating crisis. While the latest data is encouraging, we cannot become complacent. We must continue to do everything we can to stem the tide,” said Fraser Health interim executive director Andrew Larder.

RELATED: B.C. opioid overdoses still killing four people a day, health officials say

RELATED: New in-depth report sheds light on who in B.C. is dying of drug overdoses

Doug Smith, harm reduction co-ordinator with Drug War Survivors, says he feels the success in Abbotsford is through awareness.

“We’re pushing that lesson of ‘don’t use alone, don’t use alone, be cautious.’ The warnings are finally being listened to and people are living, now,” Smith said.

“The dope that’s out here is way stronger than it was last year, but we’re surviving better because we’re smarter.”

Overdose deaths by city
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Find more of our coverage on the overdose crisis here.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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