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Overdose & Drug Poisoning Data

BC Emergency Health Services is consistently monitoring the potential overdose/poisoning call volumes in B.C. We have been reporting out on the numbers since the overdose crisis was declared in 2016.
Overdose call volumes by community
The yearly total reflects the number of overdose calls paramedics have responded to within the community. Here are the top communities within the province, with the number of calls for 2021.

To see the number of calls broken down by year, from 2016 to 2021, see Overdose Response in B.C. Communities (PDF).

  • 100 Mile House: 31
  • Abbotsford: 1,368
  • Agassiz: 60
  • Armstrong: 8
  • Burnaby: 654
  • Burns Lake: 18
  • Campbell River: 403
  • Castlegar: 33
  • Central Saanich: 38
  • Chase: 9
  • Chemainus: 32
  • Chilliwack: 821
  • Cobble Hill: 15
  • Coldstream: 20
  • Colwood: 46
  • Comox: 36
  • Coquitlam: 518
  • Courtenay: 467
  • Cranbrook: 191
  • Creston: 11
  • Cumberland: 11
  • Dawson Creek: 69
  • Delta: 219
  • Duncan: 484
  • Enderby: 27
  • Esquimalt: 75
  • Fort Nelson: 20
  • Fort St James: 43
  • Fort St John: 97
  • Gibsons: 37
  • Golden: 9
  • Grand Forks: 44
  • Hope: 80
  • Houston: 21
  • Kamloops: 1,068
  • Kelowna: 1,588
  • Keremeos: 15
  • Kimberley: 11
  • Kitimat: 33
  • Ladysmith: 33
  • Lake Country: 27
  • Lake Cowichan: 14
  • Langford: 155
  • Langley: 770
  • Lillooet: 9
  • Lumby: 14
  • Maple Ridge: 908
  • Merritt: 86
  • Mission: 397
  • Nanaimo: 891
  • Nanoose Bay: 8
  • Nelson: 47
  • New Westminster: 587
  • North Saanich: 20
  • North Vancouver: 323
  • Oak Bay: 28
  • Oliver: 34
  • Osoyoos: 16
  • Parksville: 116
  • Peachland: 13
  • Pemberton: 5
  • Penticton: 748
  • Pitt Meadows: 52
  • Port Alberni: 302
  • Port Coquitlam: 295
  • Port Hardy: 37
  • Port Moody: 45
  • Powell River: 134
  • Prince George: 1,305
  • Prince Rupert: 71
  • Princeton: 12
  • Qualicum Beach: 28
  • Quesnel: 157
  • Revelstoke: 11
  • Richmond: 383
  • Saanich: 342
  • Salmon Arm: 96
  • Salt Spring Island: 22
  • Sechelt: 83
  • Shawnigan Lake: 23
  • Sidney: 31
  • Smithers: 42
  • Sooke: 62
  • Squamish: 88
  • Summerland: 30
  • Surrey: 3,674
  • Terrace: 259
  • Thornhill: 23
  • Tofino: 28
  • Trail: 106
  • Vancouver: 9,993
  • Vanderhoof: 15
  • Vernon: 457
  • Victoria: 1,952
  • View Royal: 48
  • West Kelowna: 185
  • West Vancouver: 76
  • Whistler: 31
  • White Rock: 51
  • Williams Lake: 117
  • Other communities: 880
2021 overdose numbers

Overdose calls in B.C.

  • 2021: 35,525 (up 31% over last year)
  • 2020: 27,067 (up 12% over the previous year)
  • 2019: 24,166
  • 2018: 23,662
  • 2017: 23,441
  • 2016: 19,275
  • 2015: 12,263

Health authorities

Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health have the highest number of overdose calls, as these two health authorities serve about 50% of B.C.’s population.

Every health authority had an increase in overdose calls in 2021; Northern Health had the smallest increase at 16%, well below the provincial increase of 31%.

Here is the breakdown of overdose calls in each health authority:

  • Vancouver Coastal: 11,204 (+24%)
  • Fraser Health: 10,573 (+45%)
  • Island Health: 5,917 (+32%)
  • Interior Health: 5, 417 (+29%)
  • Northern Health: 2,414 (+16%)

Overdose calls per day

BCEHS paramedics responded to an average of 97 overdose calls per day in B.C. during 2021.

Top five communities for overdose calls

BCEHS receives the most calls for overdoses from our largest metro centres: Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria. Here are the top five communities for overdose, with the precentage increase over 2020:

  • Vancouver: 9,993 (+23%)
  • Surrey: 3,674 (+49%)
  • Victoria: 1,952 (+24%)
  • Kelowna: 1,588 (+36%)
  • Abbotsford: 1,368 (+46%)
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SOURCE: Overdose & Drug Poisoning Data ( )
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