FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Coroners Service has released updated illicit drug death numbers for the province, and they are still high.
There were 368 illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected from January through April 2017.
For the month of May, there were 129 suspected overdose deaths in B.C. This is a 158% increase over the number of death occurring in May 2016, which saw a total of 50 deaths.
Northern B.C. saw a total of 52 deaths in 2016. So far in 2017, there have been 20.
Northeast B.C. had a total of 18 deaths in 2016. To date in 2017, there have been 5 up from 2 recorded in April.
Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe once again stated that persons who are not currently drug-dependent should avoid experimenting or any casual use of illicit drugs.
“The number of deaths shows that the risks remain extreme. The drug supply is unsafe, and casual and occasional users are at high risk of overdose due to their opioid naiveté.”