NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC – The BC Coroners Service released an updated report on illicit drug overdose deaths in the province.

North Vancouver Island is among the regions with the highest rates of those deaths, according to the most recent report, which covers data to the end of March 2019.

North Vancouver Island illicit drug overdoses are at 31.8 per 100, 000. Vancouver still tops the list at 41.9.

The report shows the North Island saw 10 deaths across the region. Six of the 10 fatal overdoses occurred in Courtenay. But overall, overdose deaths in the North Island is actually in line with the rest of the regions on the Island, according to media and government advisor Dominic Abassi.

In the North Shore/Coast Garibaldi area, which includes Powell River, the report shows six overdose deaths.

Drug overdose death numbers for smaller communities are not being released due to privacy reasons, according to Abassi.

There are overdose prevention sites through AIDS Vancouver Island in Campbell River and Courtenay, which can help individuals use substances with access to support, supervision, and overdose response.