NEWS
11/18/2016 12:02 EST | Updated 11/19/2017 00:12 EST

A look at how up to date provinces keep their opioid overdose numbers

VANCOUVER — A look at how up to date the provinces have kept the statistics around opioid overdose deaths, including those linked to fentanyl:

 

British Columbia: October 2016

In the first 10 months of 2016, there were 622 unintentional overdose deaths from illicit drugs in British Columbia. Of those deaths that occurred before October, 332 were linked to fentanyl.

Alberta: October 2016

From the beginning of 2016 to Oct. 27, 338 Albertans died from an apparent drug overdose related to an opioid. Fentanyl was involved in 193 of them.

Saskatchewan: September 2016, incomplete

Saskatchewan reported a total of 15 opioid overdoses in the first nine months of 2016, including two accidental deaths involving fentanyl. However, those numbers exclude deaths that are still under investigation. 2015 saw far greater numbers, with 21 fentanyl-related deaths out of 76 opioid fatalities.

Manitoba: unclear

A government spokeswoman said Manitoba's health department has no mechanism in place to track overdoses. She said the province's medical examiner's office reports there are about 150 overdoses a year and that some of those deaths are caused by opioids, including fentanyl. The medical examiner's office did not reply to a request for more information.

Ontario: 2015, preliminary numbers

Ontario released its preliminary overdose numbers for 2015 a few weeks ago, but a department spokeswoman said the tally won't be finalized until sometime in 2017. Last year saw 529 opioid deaths across the province and 162 of those were related to fentanyl.

Quebec: unknown

Quebec did not reply to repeated requests for data.

New Brunswick: 2015

New Brunswick reported seven instances in 2015 where opioids were the direct cause of death, as well as 10 cases where opioids were detected alongside other substances. The province didn't break out the number of deaths where fentanyl was discovered. The 2016 figures were not readily available.

Prince Edward Island: 2014

The most recent data available for Prince Edward Island are for 2014, when there were four opioid-related deaths.

Nova Scotia: unclear

Opioid statistics aren't readily available in Nova Scotia, though the province's chief medical officer reported late last month that at least 70 people died of opioid-related overdoses in the first eight months of 2016.

Newfoundland and Labrador: 2015

There were 20 drug-related accidental deaths in 2015. Eighteen of those tested positive for opioids, five of which contained fentanyl.