Fentanyl overdose crisis

The B.C. Coroners Service recorded 134 illicit drug overdose deaths in the province during the month of July.

The number marks a 12 per cent increase from the number of deaths in July 2017 (120), and 25 per cent increase over the number of deaths in June 2018 (107).

The total works out to about 4.3 deaths in the province per day.

July saw the second highest monthly total recorded so far this year. There were 162 deaths recorded in March.

Every health authority in the province, save for those in the interior regions, saw an increase in the number of overdose deaths from last June.

Similar to previous months, there were no deaths at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

Preliminary data shows that fentanyl has been detected in 81 per cent of overdose deaths in 2018 (up to June 30).

Island Health reminds anyone who uses drugs that they should always avoid using alone, and stagger their use when with a friend so that someone is able to respond if needed.

The health authority also recommends carrying a naloxone kit at all times. If someone you know suffers an overdose, call 911 immediately.

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