Ninety people died of suspected drug overdoses in B.C. in the first month of 2019, three of them in Northeast B.C.
Fewer people died from illicit drugs last month compared to the start of 2018, down from 130, according to B.C. Coroner's Service data released today.
There were six fatal overdoses overall in Northern B.C., with two in Prince George and another in the Northwest. Fentanyl was detected in five of the deaths, including two of the deaths in the Northeast.
The number of deaths believed to have been caused by even more toxic carfentanil more than quadrupled in just one month. The synthetic opioid is believed to be 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and was detected in 35 suspected illicit-drug deaths in all of 2018.
Carfentanil was responsible for 13 of the deaths in the province in January, up from three fatalities a month earlier.
The coroners service says fentanyl was detected in 68 of the 90 deaths in January.
The numbers are preliminary, the coroners service says, and are subject to change as investigations are concluded.
— with files from the Canadian Press
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