Illicit drug overdose deaths continue rising in BC

The BC Coroners Service has released another set of grim overdose numbers.

Last month, 120 people died of illicit drug use in BC - nearly four a day - that's a 52% increase from March 2016.

In the Interior Health Region - 22 people died from drug overdoses last month compared to 12 in March 2016. 

So far this year in Kelowna, there have been 24 illicit drug overdose deaths - for all of last year there were 47. 

People aged 30 to 49 made up the largest number of OD deaths, with men accounting for 83% of those.

The Coroner says the presence of fentanyl in street drugs is the main reason for the high number of overdose deaths, because drug overdose deaths, not involving fentanyl, have remained relatively stable since 2011.

931 people died of illicit drug use in British Columbia in 2016 - so far this year, 347 have died.