Toll reaches almost four a day in BC's overdose crisis: coroner

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

The 120 suspected overdose deaths province-wide in March is a 52 per cent increase over the 79 deaths in the same month previous year.

Provisional data shows that 120 died as a result of illicit drug use during the month of March, an average of 3.9 deaths per day.

Despite the good news here up north, the rate of fatal overdoses is still incredibly high across the rest of the province.

"Individuals aged 30-39 and 40-49 continue to account for the largest percentage of illicit drug overdose deaths during the first three months of 2017". But there have still not been any deaths recorded at overdose preventions sites, locations where volunteers or staff are on hand to provide first aid in case someone overdoses.

"It has been just over a year since the provincial health officer's declaration of a provincial health emergency and, while harm reduction measures now in place are reversing thousands of overdoses, long-term measures to stem this tide must include meaningful education beginning at an early age and evidence-based treatment".

So far in 2017, 12 people have died in Kamloops from an illicit drug overdose, while 24 have died in Kelowna.

She added that the introduction of fentanyl is the main contributor of the significant spike in illicit drug overdose deaths since 2012.

Late last month, the City of Vancouver said it was on track to double the number of recorded overdose deaths it saw in 2016 which hit 215. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

For more on the fentanyl crisis, go here.

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