Increase in overdose deaths provincewide

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A total of 391 people in B.C. died from illicit drug overdoses in the first three months of 2018, suggesting there is no sign over the opioid crisis easing.

The report shows there were 13 overdose deaths recorded, more than doubling the amount of six back in march 2017.

That's a 58 percent increase compared to the 102 deaths that occurred in February, and a 24 percent increase over the number of fatalities in March 2017.

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"Preliminary data indicate that through the first three months of 2018, fentanyl was detected in post-mortem testing in more than eight in every 10 deaths, [which amounts to about 83 per cent]", said the service in a news release.

March saw the second-highest number of illicit-drug overdose deaths, dashing hopes that the province was beginning to win the battle against the fentanyl epidemic. Seventy per cent of those who died were between the ages of 19 and 49, and 82 per cent were males. No one has died from an overdose at a supervised consumption site or an overdose prevention site.

Despite the efforts, however, overdose deaths in 2018 are on par with record numbers seen previous year, when 400 people died between January and the end of March.

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The three townships seeing the highest number of deaths remain Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria where lives claimed have reached 102, 55 and 34 respectively.

The coroner's service replicated its deadline for those taking illegal drugs to not use independently.

There were 1,448 suspected deaths from illicit drugs in 2017.

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"Those using chemicals should have somebody nearby trained and equipped Happens", it stated in the discharge.

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