Individuals aged 25 to 44 represented the greatest share of British Columbians who died of accidental overdose deaths between 2011 and 2016, with men making up almost 75 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
This demographic made up a total of 50 per cent of all 2,362 confirmed illicit drug overdose deaths, according to Statistics Canada. Notably, this larger group consists out of two sub-groups – individuals aged 25 to 34 and individuals aged 35 to 44. Both groups accounted for 25 per cent. Individuals aged 45 to 54 accounted for 23 per cent. Individuals on either end of the age spectrum accounted for smaller shares. Individuals aged 18 to 24 accounted for 12 per cent, while individuals aged 55 to 64 accounted for 13 per cent. Individuals under 18 and over 65 accounted for one per cent.
Statistics also show 77 per cent of victims are men. Read broadly, these statistics show that the opioid crisis is a ‘male’ crisis that affects individuals during their prime years of life, but trending towards the older side of the demographic distribution, as individuals aged 35 to 64 account for 61 per cent of all deaths.