The British Columbia Coroners Service says the number of suspected overdose deaths involving illicit drugs decreased by 23 per cent in April compared with a near-record month of fatalities in March.
Its latest figures show 124 people died in April, amounting to about four deaths a day in the province, mostly involving the opioid painkiller fentanyl, which is often laced into street drugs such as heroin.
The service says most of the deaths occurred in the Fraser Health region of 20 communities stretching from Burnaby to White Rock and Hope, at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley.
It says the region saw a slight increase in overdose deaths while fatalities decreased among all other health regions.
The coroner’s service recorded 161 suspected overdose deaths in March, a jump of 58 per cent over February.
It says the 161 deaths was the second-highest total since the record 162 fatalities in December 2016.