Rise in overdose deaths in BC

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The BC Coroners Service counts 161 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths provincewide in March.

The coroner says more than 1,400 residents died from suspected illicit drug overdoses a year ago.

The report states fentanyl was detected in 83 per cent of the deaths to date this year and 84 per cent of all illicit-drug overdose deaths in 2017. Seven-in-10 people who died were adults between the ages of 19 and 49.

Darcy said the province has also moved to almost double the number of overdose prevention sites since September and the number of new patients on new patients on opioid substitutions therapies is up 126 per cent.

Vancouver had 102 suspected overdose deaths in the first three months of 2018, an average of 34 per month, which is up from the 2017 average of 30.5 per month, the coroner said. Numbers are not available for Penticton.

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The figure is the second-highest toll behind the 162 deaths that were recorded in December 2016. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles.

Kamloops has seen 12 people die after overdosing so far this year, putting the city on pace for its highest total ever. No one has died from an overdose at a supervised consumption site or an overdose prevention site.

Among health services delivery areas in the province, south Vancouver Island has the third highest total of suspected overdose deaths with 43, and the third highest rate of fatal illicit drug use with 44 deaths per 100,000 people.

"Those using chemicals should have somebody nearby trained and equipped Happens", it stated in the discharge.

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