B.C. has recorded an uptick in overdose deaths in March 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

B.C. sees 60% more overdose deaths in March compared to first two months of 2020

That equates to roughly seven British Columbians dying every two days

Amid COVID-19, B.C. has seen a staggering uptick in deaths due to its other provincial health emergency, the ongoing overdose crisis.

In March, 113 people died from an illicit drug overdose in the province – marking the first time B.C. has recorded more than 100 fatalities in a single month since last March.

That equates to roughly seven people dying every two days.

Compared to the number of deaths in January and February, 77 and 70 respectively, the uptick in March was seen in every health authority. notably in Fraser Health (a 91-per-cent increase) and Island health (a 80-per-cent increase).

A majority of the overdose deaths, or 57 per cent, occurred in private residences, stats show.

Street-level fentanyl and similar analogues has been detected in 70 per cent of all deaths, discovered through autopsies. Carfentanil, a drug used to sedate elephants, was detected in two deaths in the first three months of the year.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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opioid crisis

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