B.C. has recorded an uptick in overdose deaths in March 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

B.C. has recorded an uptick in overdose deaths in March 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

B.C. sees 60% more overdose deaths in March compared to first two months of 2020

That equates to roughly seven British Columbians dying every two days

Amid COVID-19, B.C. has seen a staggering uptick in deaths due to its other provincial health emergency, the ongoing overdose crisis.

In March, 113 people died from an illicit drug overdose in the province – marking the first time B.C. has recorded more than 100 fatalities in a single month since last March.

That equates to roughly seven people dying every two days.

Compared to the number of deaths in January and February, 77 and 70 respectively, the uptick in March was seen in every health authority. notably in Fraser Health (a 91-per-cent increase) and Island health (a 80-per-cent increase).

A majority of the overdose deaths, or 57 per cent, occurred in private residences, stats show.

Street-level fentanyl and similar analogues has been detected in 70 per cent of all deaths, discovered through autopsies. Carfentanil, a drug used to sedate elephants, was detected in two deaths in the first three months of the year.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

opioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre. The art gallery has COVID-19 protective measures in place. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre puts out a call to artists

Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council will hold a pandemic-inspired art exhibit

Staff and students at Shelter Farm work in a greenhouse during the last growing season. The farm has wrapped up for winter and is setting its sights on expansion of programs for spring. (PHOTO COURTESY GUY LANGLOIS, SHELTER FARM)
Port Alberni Shelter Farm grows with the seasons

Food production, processing the next step

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Island communities asked to join forces in seeking help fighting illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Most Read