Overdoses led to 90 deaths in the first month of 2019, with more than one-in-ten of those caused by carfentanil – a deadly opioid 100 times stronger than illicit fentanyl.
The BC Coroners Service said Tuesday that there were roughly 3 deaths per day in B.C. in January.
Carfentanil, a powerful narcotic used to tranquilize elephants, was detected in 13 toxicology reports. That’s compared to 35 deaths in 2018 and 71 deaths in the second half of 2017.
Illicit fentanyl was responsible for 87 per cent of the 1,510 overdose deaths last year, oftentimes taken unknowingly within cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. Fatal overdoses where fentanyl was not detected amounts to roughly 285 deaths per year.
In January, a total of 24 people died in Vancouver, followed by eight in Surrey and five in Victoria.
Roughly 85 per cent occurred inside. Not a single death happened at an overdose prevention site or safe consumption site.