September sees drop in fatal overdoses compared to August, though death toll climbed past 1,100

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — The provincial death toll from fatal drug overdoses this year surpassed 1,100 in September, though the rate of fatal overdoses slowed in Northern B.C.

The B.C. Coroners Service released its latest statistics on the province’s ongoing overdose epidemic today, which shows that as of September 30th, 1,103 people have fatally overdosed on illicit drugs this year. 80 people died across B.C. in September, an increase of 31 percent over the same month a year ago, when 61 people died.

The rate of fatal overdoses where fentanyl was detected also continues to climb. So far this year, 914 fatal overdose victims had fentanyl detected in their bodies, compared to 370 in the same period last year.

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Northern Health continues to have the least fatal overdoses of any health authority, with 45 deaths so far this year. In the North, 42 of the 45 people that have died this year had fentanyl detected in their systems, which is just under 83 percent. Northern Health recorded four fatal overdoses in September, three of which had fentanyl detected in their systems.

Northeast B.C. has had a total of 13 fatal overdoses this year, one of which occurred in September. Fentanyl was detected in last month’s fatality in the Northeast, and the yearly total of fatal drug overdoses with fentanyl detected in Northeast B.C. sits at 11.

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