Medicine

Updated overdose deaths show 12% decrease in Northern BC

Updated overdose deaths show 12% decrease in Northern BC

The BC Coroners Service released a new tally Thursday on the number of illicit drug overdose fatalities in B.C.

The Service's preliminary data also indicates there were 80 suspected drug deaths across the province in September, a 31% jump from a year ago, and a near 150% increase in overdoses from opioids laced with fentanyl.

As of September, more than 1,100 British Columbians have died due to suspected illicit drug overdoses, 33 of them from Kamloops.

In most cases, fentanyl was combined with other illicit drugs, most often cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines. In Vernon, there have been 17 fatal overdoses so far this year. Carfentanil was found in 37 per cent.

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The number of overdose deaths from illegal drugs almost doubled this year, as the province grapples with an ongoing opioid crisis. Fridays see the highest number of overdose deaths per week across B.C. Overdose deaths linked specifically to fentanyl have consistently, albeit marginally, decreased in Vancouver Coastal Health since May - 27 that month, 26 in June, 24 in July and August and 21 in September.

The statistics show nine out of 10 deaths occurred indoors.

No deaths are reported to have occurred at any supervised consumption site or a drug overdose prevention site.


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