VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C- March of 2018 was one of the worst we’ve seen for illicit drug overdose deaths in British Columbia.

According to a report from the BC coroners service, there were 161 deaths suspected to be caused by illicit drugs in March of this year.  

28 of those deaths happened on Vancouver Island.

This represents a 24% increase over the March 2017 total of 130 illicit drug overdose deaths, and a 58% increase over last month’s suspected total of 102.

This is the second-highest monthly total to date, based on the latest data provided by the BC Coroners Service.

Through the first three months of 2018, there have been 391 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C., on par with the 400 reported through the first three months of 2017.

Vancouver Island made up 73 of those deaths.

More than 1,400 British Columbians died due to suspected illicit drug overdoses in 2017.

The BC Coroners Service urgently reminds those using any illicit drugs not to use alone.

Those using substances should have someone nearby equipped and trained to administer naloxone or able to call 911 immediately if an overdose occurs.