News Illicit drug deaths down 35% in 2019 SHARE ON: Cole Kelly, contributor, Friday, Aug. 16th, 2019 Drugs stock image (supplied by Pixabay) The BC Coroners Service has published updated reports on illicit drug toxicity deaths and fentanyl-detected drug deaths. In June of this year, there were 73 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths across the province, a 35% decrease from the number of deaths in June of last year, which was 113. This also represented a 15% decrease from the number of deaths that occurred in May 2019, at 86. For the first six months of this year, there were 538 illicit drug toxicity deaths, a decrease of approximately 30% over the same six-month period in 2018 when 763 were reported. Illicit drug deaths in 2019 (supplied by the BC Coroners Service) In Prince George, there were 49 illicit drug deaths in 2018 and by the end of June this year, there were only 11. The Northern Health region as a whole had 97 deaths last year from illicit drugs and 31 by the end of June 2019. According to the BC Coroners Service, men accounted for 78% of those deaths, and 71% were between the ages of 30-59. Fentanyl was detected in more than four of every five illicit drug toxicity deaths both this year and last. The service also found that no deaths have been reported at supervised consumption sites or drug overdose prevention sites.