Vancouver police say 18 people died of suspected overdose deaths in the month of July.
That’s down from 26 suspected overdose deaths in June.
The Vancouver Fire Rescue Service also fielded 568 calls in responses to overdoses, a figure the city calls “extremely high” and on par with the previous month.
The City of Vancouver said the high pace of calls is becoming a “new normal” and putting continued strain on first responders.
The dip in Vancouver overdose deaths between June and July comes after the BC Coroners Service reported province-wide overdose deaths had dropped from 136 to 111 between May and June.
However June overdose deaths were still 61 per cent higher than in that same month for 2016.
The latest figures from the Coroners Service show that 780 people have died in B.C. of suspected overdoses between January and June of 2017.
That’s nearly double the 414 people who had lost their lives to drugs in the first six months of 2016.
Vancouver continued to lead the province in deaths, with 209 between January and June this year.
The Coroners Service has begun collecting more data on the circumstances surrounding overdose deaths through a new Unintentional Drug Overdose protocol.
The measure requires coroners to fill out an 11 page report on all suspected overdose deaths, including information such as where the deaths occurred, and the occupational, medical and prescription history of the victims.
The service is hoping the deep data dive can help officials identify trends and implement new measures to address the opioid overdose crisis.