It's a grim era for drug users when the B.C. government issues news releases about overdose deaths on a monthly basis.
Today, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General reported there were 63 such fatalities in October, up from 57 in September.
Through the first 10 months of 2016, there have been 622 deaths in B.C. related to illicit drugs.
Not surprisingly, the synthetic opiate fentanyl has been linked to a significant number: 322 deaths.
A growing percentage of these drug-related fatalities are male: 80.7 percent this year compared with 71.2 percent in 2012.
The B.C. Coroners Service continues to promote such harm-reduction measuresas never using drugs alone, having naloxone ready, and knowing the signs of an overdose and calling 911.
On November 14, the Vancouver Police Department reported there were 11 nonfatal overdoses, with the primary suspect being fentanyl.
The knowyoursource.ca website states that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine.
In April, the B.C. government declared a public-health emergency because of the rash of overdose deaths.
Last year, there were 510 deaths in B.C. linked to illicit drugs.