Illicit drug deaths reach startling new high

Photo from Edgewood Health Network Inc. (

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The newest numbers released by the BC Coroners service shows that illicit drug deaths are at a all-time high.

From January 1st of this year to June 30th, there were 371 deaths. That is a 74.2% increase from the same time period in 2015.


The number of deaths caused by fentanyl has also increased significantly. From January 1st to May 30th, around 60% of deaths were caused by fentanyl after the drug was found in toxicology tests.

There is a one month delay in fentanyl numbers due to testing rules.

There have been 14 fentanyl deaths in Northern BC so far in 2016. Fort St. John has seen 6 deaths, while Prince George was next on the list with 4 deaths. Charlie Lake and Dawson Creek each had 1.