March proved to be another deadly month for illicit drug users in British Columbia.
The Coroner’s Service reports that 120 people died of drug overdoses across the province last month, the third highest number on record.
It marks a rise of more than 50% compared with March of 2016, right before the province declared the issue a public health emergency.
If there was a glimmer of hope in the new numbers, it was on Vancouver Island.
Island Health reported 21 fatal drug overdoses in March, two fewer than in February.
It was the only health authority in the province to see he number of overdose fatalities drop last month.
Island Health recorded 15 overdose deaths in March 2016.
Victoria has seen 30 overdose deaths so far in 2017, the third highest of any township in the province behind Vancouver and Surrey.
Nanaimo is sixth with 13 fatal overdoses in the first three months of the year.
The also finds that consumption of cocaine (48.8%) was involved nearly half of all fatalities, while the synthetic opioid fentanyl was found in 43.3% of all cases and heroin in 37.1%.