B.C. continues to see high numbers of overdose deaths

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The number represents a 16 per cent decrease from the previous month, but a 71 per cent increase from the same time last year, according to the BC Coroners Service.

Fatal overdoses involving males increased in recent months and have remained high, whereas rates of death involving females declined to average levels in August 2020.

British Columbia reported 147 drug overdose deaths last month.

The number represents a 16 per cent decrease from the previous month, but a 71 per cent increase from the same time last year, according to the BC Coroners Service. 

B.C. has now recorded six consecutive months with over 100 illicit drug toxicity deaths.

The number of non-fatal overdose incidents also increased significantly. BC Emergency Health Services reported approximately 7,500 overdose calls this summer, the highest number ever recorded in a three-month stretch.

Fatal overdoses involving males increased in recent months and have remained high, whereas rates of death involving females declined to average levels in August.

The data in the report suggests an increase in the number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations in April, May, June, July and August, compared to previous months.

The report also found extreme fentanyl concentrations nearly doubling, from 8 per cent to 14 per cent between July and Aug. 2020. 

There have been 1,068 illicit drug deaths to date in B.C. this year, based on preliminary data from the provincial government.  

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