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Prince George sees another nine illicit drug deaths during September, B.C. records 127

B.C. records 15 per cent decrease compared to August
BC Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe and BC Provincial Health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (via Flickr/Province of B.C.)

It's somber news for illicit drug deaths in Prince George last month. 

According to the latest statistics released by the BC Coroners Service today (Oct. 20) Prince George recorded another nine deaths due to illicit drugs in September for a new total of 38 during 2020. The northern capital has seen 121 deaths since 2018.

B.C. recorded 127 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths last month, and the Coroners Service says the numbers represent a 112 per cent increase compared to September 2019 when there were 60. 

The 127 deaths in September are a 15 per cent decrease from August, which saw 147.

To date in 2020, the BC Coroners office says 80 per cent of illicit drug deaths have contained fentanyl (963 of 1202 deaths) while carfentanil has been detected in 34 deaths with 28 in September alone. 

Fraser Health has the most illicit drug deaths this year with fentanyl discovered with 305 followed by Vancouver Coastal Health with 267 and Island Health recorded 172. 

Northern Health has seen 75 fentanyl-related deaths in 2020 compared to 53 a year before while 29 of the 38 in Prince George have involved the drug. 

The authority also has the highest rate of 44 deaths per 100,000 individuals followed by Vancouver Coastal Health at 37 per 100,000.