The number of illicit drug overdose deaths continues to climb in B.C., with this year’s total on pace to shatter the record number of people killed by drugs last year.

Through May of this year in B.C., 640 people have died from a drug overdose, compared to 343 deaths at this time last year.

Illicit drug deaths accounted for more than four deaths per day in the month of May, according to new numbers released by the BC Coroners Service.

The 129 deaths last month is down slightly from the April number of 136, but it’s the seventh straight month in which the number of deaths have surpassed 100.

“The number of deaths shows that the risks remain extreme. The drug supply is unsafe, and casual and occasional users are at high risk of overdose due to their opioid naivete,” B.C.’s chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement.

In Victoria, 41 people have died from drug overdoses through the end of May this year. It’s on pace to greatly surpass the 67 deaths the city saw in 2016.

Up-island in Nanaimo, 21 people have already died from overdoses, just seven short of the 28 total deaths in the Harbour City last year.

Fentanyl continues to be a deadly factor in B.C.’s overdoses crisis as it has been detected in 72 per cent of illicit drug deaths so far this year. That’s up from 60 per cent last year.

Authorities have also started to grapple with the new, deadlier opioid carfentanil that has been cropping up in the province recently.

The Provincial Toxicology Centre has begun testing for the lethal drug, and the BC Coroners Service says it will make statistics regarding deaths caused by carfentanil available to the public in the coming months.