Overdose numbers falling

The latest figures from the BC Coroners Service show fewer people are dying from illicit drug overdoses and there has been a decrease in the number of deaths related to carfentanil over the past two months.

The service says 73 people died of suspected illicit drug overdoses in June, a drop of 35 per cent compared with 113 for the same month last year, when stats showed 2.4 deaths per day.

The service says fentanyl was detected in more than four out of every five deaths in 2018 and during the first six months of this year.

The detection of carfentanil peaked at 32 deaths in March, but the service says there was a decrease in the number of deaths related to the synthetic opioid in May and June.

Overall for the first six months of 2019, there were 538 suspected overdose deaths from illicit drugs, down from 763 for the same period last year.

The service says males accounted for 78 per cent of all suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths for the first six months of 2019.

By local health area, the rates of illicit drug toxicity deaths were highest in Princeton, Merritt, Vancouver (aggregate), Grand Forks and Hope.

No deaths have been reported at supervised consumption sites or drug overdose prevention sites.

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