BC records second highest number of overdose deaths in March

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Carfentanil, which is even more potent than fentanyl, was detected in 81 overdose deaths between June last year and the end of March of this year.

During the first quarter of 2018, there have been 391 suspected overdose deaths in the province, on par with the 400 reported through the first three months of a year ago, the B.C. Coroners Service says.

All of the health authorities, except for the Interior, saw an increase in the number of illicit drug deaths in March 2018 compared to February of this year.

That's nearly as high as the 162 people who died in December 2016, the highest monthly total since the coroners service began collecting statistics.

In March, 161 people died of suspected overdoses, according to data released Thursday by the B.C. Coroners Service.

For 2018, there were 391 deaths in B.C. between January 1 and March 31.

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The report shows there were 13 overdose deaths recorded, more than doubling the amount of six back in march 2017.

People aged 19 to 39 makeup the largest demographic of British Columbians dying from overdose deaths - or 188 people.

Men remain to face the lions share of overdose deaths of about 80 per cent, or 319 lives lost. The fatality rate in Northeast B.C.is below the provincial average at 27 deaths per 100,000, while the Northern Health rate as a whole was the second-lowest in B.C.at 30.8 deaths per 100,000.

For the year to date, 2018 overdoses are close to the record pace of 2017 with 391 deaths through the first three months of data, compared to 400 last year.

The BC Coroners Service urgently reminds those using any illicit drugs not to use alone.

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