While overdose death rates continue to be far too high province-wide, Hope is off to a quiet start in 2022.
The latest numbers from the B.C. Coroner’s Service show Hope recording zero overdose deaths from January through the end of April. Hope is one of just 17 local health authorities in B.C. with no fatalities, encouraging given that Hope has been on the wrong end of the list for the last five years.
Hope had the province’s sixth highest death rate, based on 100,000 person-years, in 2021.
Hope had the highest death rate in B.C. in 2019 and 2020, largely because a handful of deaths are magnified in a smaller population.
“The population of Hope and up the Fraser Canyon and surrounding area is just under 10,000 people, so one death here is equal to almost 80 deaths in Vancouver,” Hope-based doctor Aseem Grover said at the time.
Grover is the Site Medical Director at Fraser Canyon Hospital.
While Hope is doing OK, the Fraser East region continues to be among B.C.’s worst for overdose deaths.
Through April, the number of fatalities sits at 67, which would project to 201 over 12 months. That would far surpass the 175 deaths from 2021.
The Fraser East death rate per 100,000 people-years is 58.8, which trails only Vancouver (70.2), Thompson Cariboo (66.4) and Northern Interior (63.9).
According to the B.C. Coroners Service, 73 per cent of those dying in 2022 have been aged 30 to 59, and 76 per cent have been male.