Illicit drug overdose deaths in BC continue to rise

The BC Coroners Service reports a total of 102 people died from illicit drug use last month in the province - about 4 deaths a day on average.

By comparison, there were 59 overdose deaths in February 2016.

Kelowna was one of the top three cities in BC for illicit drug deaths at 15 last month - that's a 60% increase from February 2016 when there were 9. Vancouver and Surrey were the other two cities with high overdose death numbers.  

Last year, there were 47 illict drug overdose deaths in Kelowna - so far this year, there have been 17. 

Similar to last year's statistics - the BC Coroner says people aged 30 to 49 accounted for the largest percentage of overdose deaths in the first two months of 2017 with men accounting for 83% of illicit drug overdose deaths.

The report says most deaths in BC took place in private homes with just 10% outside. 

There were no deaths at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

So far this year, there have been 219 illicit drug overdose deaths in the province.

In 2016, the worst year on record, there were 922 deaths with many caused by fentanyl.  

The full BC Coroners Service report is available here.