Local overdoses increase

While the rate of drug-related death has slowed somewhat in B.C., more people are dying than ever in Penticton. 

New data released Thursday from the B.C. Coroners Service shows eight people were killed by overdoses in Penticton in the first five months of 2019. The city is on pace to eclipse last year’s death toll of 15.

The Coroner has found fentanyl to be behind all fatal overdoses in Penticton in 2018 and 2019.

Detailed data on fatal overdoses in Penticton was previously not available, with privacy concerns limiting the B.C. Coroners Service to releasing detailed statistics for 15 communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis. 

Penticton was previously lumped in with the “other township” category, something that has changed with the latest report that places Penticton in the deadly 15 for the first time.

Across B.C. there were 462 illicit drug deaths between January and May 2019, a 30 per cent drop from 651 the same time last year.

Nine people in Vernon and 15 in Kelowna have died of overdose so far this year.

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