Two more fatal drug overdoses were reported in Northeast B.C. in July, according to the latest data from the BC Coroners Service.
The latest coroner's report shows there have been 18 deaths in the region so far this year, with the death rate in the Northeast still among the highest in the province at 46.9 per 100,000 people, behind only Northwest B.C., North Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Fraser East and the Thompson Cariboo regions.
There were zero deaths in the region in June.
Across Northern B.C., there have been 77 overdose deaths this year, including 36 in the Northern Interior and 23 in the Northwest.
Across B.C. there were 184 overdose deaths in July, or about 5.9 deaths per day, bringing the total number of deaths for the year to 1,204.
The Coroners Service says fentanyl has been detected in 86% of all illicit drug toxicity deaths in 2020 and 2021, with 13% of preliminary toxicological tests between April 2020 and July 2021 showing extreme concentrations of the drug.
Men continue to be disproportionately affected by B.C.’s opioid public health crisis, accounting for 80% of illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C.
In Northern B.C., the majority of deaths, 83%, are happening in private residences and other social and supportive housing, according to the coroner's report.
There were a record 29 fatal overdoses in northeast B.C. in 2020 — 21 in Peace River North, 5 in Peace River South, and 3 in Fort Nelson.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at firstname.lastname@example.org