Drug deaths down in May in B.C. compared to a year earlier

Fentanyl pills are shown in an undated police handout photo.
Fentanyl pills are shown in an undated police handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE/HO - Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams

The number of have illicit drug overdose deaths went down in May compared to a year ago.

Last month 109 people died in British Columbia of an illicit drug overdose, compared to 141 people in May 2017. In April, 124 people died of an illicit drug overdose.

So far in 2018, 620 people have died from illicit drugs, with March being the deadliest month with 160 deaths. This year, 71 per cent of those dying were aged 30 to 59. Males accounted for 80 per cent of all illicit drug overdose deaths over the same period.

READ MORE: Illicit drug overdose deaths down in April compared to March across B.C.

The province’s biggest cities once again have seen the highest number of deaths. In May, 30 people died of illicit drug overdoses in Vancouver and 17 died in Surrey in the same time period.

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Fentanyl was detected in approximately 83 per cent of the drug deaths from January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018.

Once again, there were no deaths in May at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

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