Five overdose deaths in Abbotsford in January

Month one of the deadliest months yet in the city for illicit drug overdoses.

Hundreds of British Columbians have died from fentanyl-related overdoses over the last year.

January was one of the deadliest months yet in Abbotsford for fatal opioid overdoses.

Five people died in the city from fatal illicit drug overdoses.

The figure is contained within the latest report from the BC Coroners service, which showed that British Columbia’s epidemic of fatal opioid overdoses continued into January, with 116 people dying around the province.

Those figures come after the province recorded a staggering 922 illicit drug overdoses in 2016.

A total of 116 people in B.C. died of an illicit drug overdose in the first month of 2017, according to a new B.C. Coroners Service report released Friday.

That’s an average of seven deaths every two days in January – the third highest rate of deaths per month in recent months. December still saw the most deaths – 142. A total of 914 British Columbians died of a drug overdose in 2016.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says the risks of illicit drug use “remain extreme.”

The highest number of overdose deaths occurred in Vancouver last month, with 45. Nine people died in Surrey, down 16 from December.

Eighteen people died of overdoses on Vancouver Island.

And in the Interior Health region, which had the second-highest overdose rate, eight people died in Kelowna, and five in Kamloops.