The BC Coroners service says there were 161 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in BC in March.
That’s the second-highest monthly total to date.
It’s a 24% increase over the March of last year when 130 deaths were reported, and a 58% increase over last month’s suspected total of 102.
The number equates to about 5.2 deaths per day for the month.
Preliminary data indicate that through the first three months of the year fentanyl was detected in post-mortem testing in more than eight in every 10 deaths.
Through the first three months of 2018, there have been 391 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C., on par with the 400 reported through the first three months of 2017.
The numbers show Vernon has recorded 7.
Kelowna has had 13.
The Okanagan recorded 38 deaths in total.
Provincially, seven in every 10 of those who died were aged 19 to 49 years.
Rates of illicit drug overdose deaths are highest in Vancouver, Northern Interior, South Vancouver Island, Okanagan, and Thompson Cariboo Health Services Delivery Areas.
The City of Vancouver has seen 102 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths so far in 2018, an average of 34 per month, which is up from the 2017 average of 30.5 per month.
The majority of deaths, 90.5 %, were indoors.
No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption sites, or drug overdose prevention sites.
More than 1,400 British Columbians died due to suspected illicit drug overdoses in 2017.