Nearly 150 people in BC died of drug overdoses while using street drugs in August, continuing a grim trend that began in March.

The BC Coroners Service reports a total of 147 suspected deaths from illicit drugs last month in the province.

In August of last year, that number was 71 percent lower as just 86 drug users suffered fatal overdoses.

In July of this year, 176 deaths were reported.

BC’s illegal drug crisis has killed 1068 people during the first eight months of 2020.

That is more than the total number of deaths for all of 2019.

The Coroners Service says from April to August of this year, 14 percent of the overdose fatalities involved extreme fentanyl concentrations.

For six consecutive months, there have been more than one-hundred overdose deaths involving illicit drugs in the province.

Non-fatal overdoses have also been significantly higher.

Over the summer, Emergency Health Services responded to nearly 7,500 calls to help people who were overdosing.