Drug deaths still increasing at ‘alarming’ rate
Drug overdose deaths continue to rise across the Okanagan and Interior Health at an “alarming” rate, says medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema.
In March, there were 22 illicit drug overdose deaths across Interior Health, up from 18 in February and compared to 12 overdose deaths in March 2016, according to a B.C. Coroners Service report that was released on Wednesday.
From January to March 31 this year, the Okanagan saw a more than 50 per cent increase in illicit drug overdose death rates compared to 2016.
In the Okanagan, there were 37 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, at a rate of 39.9 per 100,000 people; in Kelowna, there were 24 overdose deaths during the same time period.