Over six people per day in BC lost their lives to an illicit drug overdose in July.
Province-wide, 192 illicit drug deaths were recorded in July, representing a 31% spike from the number of fatalities that took place in June (147).
That’s according to data released today (Thursday) by the BC Coroners Service.
Thirteen people in Northern Health lost their lives to a suspected drug overdose in July, while Interior Health saw 50 fatalities.
So far this year, Northern Health has recorded 95 deaths. Interior Health is more than double that at 216.
Northern Health has the highest drug toxicity death rate among all the health authorities at 53.2 per 100,000 people, ahead of Vancouver Coastal (48.9) and Interior Health (44.7).
In terms of the Health Service Delivery Area, Thomspon Cariboo has the third-highest drug toxicity death rate of 58.3 – only Vancouver (72.7) and Northwest (66.0) ranked higher.
In addition, the Northern Interior, which includes PG-Quesnel-Burns Lake and the Robson Valley ranks fourth at 56.4.
Between January and April of this year, Cariboo/Chilcotin’s Local Health Area saw nine illicit drug deaths while Quesnel and the South Cariboo had one each.
100 Mile House didn’t record an overdose death during this four-month period.
The Coroners Service noted that 71% of those dying so far in 2022 are between the ages of 30 and 59.
1,297 people have passed away province-wide. BC posted a record 2,269 drug overdose deaths in 2021.
No fatalities were reported at supervised consumption or drug prevention sites.
The Coroners Service also noted there is no indication that the prescribed safe supply is contributing to any illicit drug deaths.