Northern Health saw a jump in illicit overdose numbers for the month of March.

The report shows there were 13 overdose deaths recorded, more than doubling the amount of six back in March 2017. In 11 of those cases fentanyl was detected.

Illicit Drug Overdoes Death Rates by Health Authority, 2008-2018 | Photo courtesy: B.C. Coroners Service

Overall, The B.C. Coroners Service reported 161 suspected overdose deaths, an increase of 24 per cent compared to the year prior, making it the second highest monthly total to date. This is also an increase of 58 per cent compared to February of this year.

Preliminary data revealed for the first three months of 2018, fentanyl was detected in more than eight in every 10 deaths. Seven in every 10 of those were between the ages of 19 to 49.

The three townships experiencing the highest amount of overdose deaths are Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.

The Coroners Services says we are on par with the amount of deaths that took place in the first three months of 2017.

More than 1,400 deaths occurred due to suspected illicit drug overdoses in 2017.