Victoria: British Columbia has lost more than 10,000 lives to illicit drugs since the province declared a public health emergency in April 2016, chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says.

Lapointe said the province is on track to lose another record number of people to the toxic drug supply this year, with the number of deaths in the first half of 2022 surpassing those of the same period in 2021.

“Illicit fentanyl continues to drive this crisis and, to date in 2022, fentanyl or its analogs have been present in 83 per cent of deaths,” she told a news conference Tuesday.

New data from the BC Coroners Service revealed at least 1,095 residents are believed to have died from January to June this year, at an average of six deaths per day.

The report found more than three-quarters of the those who died this year have been male, and most were between the ages of 30 and 59.

Though June saw 146 overdose deaths, representing a 26 per cent decline when compared with May, Lapointe warned this does not mean the crisis is easing.

“We don’t put too much weight on one individual month because we know throughout this crisis, we have seen decreases and then we have seen rapid increases. What that reflects is the volatility of the market,” she said.