Illicit Drug Overdoses Kill 44 People in Interior Health from January to March

(Supplied by Pixabay)

Provincially, BC Coroners Service says 268 people have already succumbed to overdoses from illegal substances.

BC Coroners Service has released their report for the first quarter of 2019, showing that, while the numbers have decreased from the same period last year, it is still very much a concern.

In the first three months of this year, 268 died as a result of an overdose, while they claim 2018's first quarter saw 395 people killed.

2019's report includes 104 deaths in March alone.

As a percentage of the population, the Interior Health region had the second highest rate of illicit drug overdose deaths, impacting 44 people. None were reported in the East Kootenay as more than half of the area's total came from the Okanagan.

BC Coroners Service says fentanyl was detected in 85% of overdose cases, while cocaine was found in nearly half.

More than two-thirds of the illicit drug deaths involved people aged 30-59.

Above: Chart showing illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C. (Supplied by BC Coroners Service)

More from East Kootenay News