Drug overdose deaths continue tragic climb in the Okanagan

Women write messages on a banner during a memorial service to remember those who have died in the province as a result of the drug overdose crisis on International Overdose Awareness Day in the Downtown Eastside on Aug. 31. According to the B.C. Coroners

As of September, more than 1,100 British Columbians have died due to suspected illicit drug overdoses, 33 of them from Kamloops.

Eighty overdose deaths were reported province-wide in September, representing a 31 per cent increase from September 2016.

The service adds Vancouver Coastal Health has the highest rate of illicit drug overdose deaths among all health authorities in the province.

Northern BC witnessed 45 of these fatalities since the beginning of the year, a 12% decrease compared to the same time in 2016.

The statistics show nine out of every 10 deaths occurred indoors. No deaths occurred at any supervised consumption site or at any of the drug overdose prevention sites.

Carfentanil has been detected in 37 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths between June and September of 2017.

According to the Coroners service, the top four detected drugs in overdose deaths from 2016 to 2017 were fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

The city ranks eighth among B.C. cities grappling with the crisis.

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