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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Illicit drug deaths continue to rise at an alarming rate in 2016.

From January 1st to October 31st in B.C., there have been 622 deaths from overdoses. In 2015, during the same time period, there were 397.

The total number of deaths in October was 63. That is up from the 57 deaths in September.

Fentanyl is still found in a high number of illicit drug deaths. From January 1st through September 30th, 2016, fentanyl was detected in a total of 332 cases, or around 60% of all illicit drug deaths. That is almost triple the number of fentanyl-detected deaths for the same period last year.

The majority of illicit drug deaths are males. 80.7% of deaths have been males which is up from 71.2% in 2012.

There have been 36 illicit drug deaths in Northern B.C. so far in 2016. That is 10 more from the previous year when it was 26.

In Northeast B.C., there have been 13 illicit drug deaths so far in 2016. There were 5 in 2015.

Fentanyl was found in 10 deaths in Northeast B.C., up from 4 in 2015. The drug has been found in 23 deaths from 2012-2016 in the Northeast.

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