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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

opioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

City hall refurbishment comes in nearly $500,000 over budget

Revelstoke City Council voted unanimously to move forward despite the increased cost

Williamson Lake to open June 1

The park will be open for day use as well as camping

New task force to look at closing roads to vehicles in downtown Revelstoke

Councillor Cody Younker moved to have the Economic Recovery Task Force do stakeholder engagement

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read