One overdose prevention site opened in Kelowna this weekend

Another overdose death in Kelowna over the weekend

One overdose death recorded in Kelowna this weekend

The Coroner’s office  confirmed Monday  that there was one drug overdose death in Kelowna this weekend.

There were 11 fatal overdoses across the province, most of which were in the Downtown Eastside.

This comes on the heels of a  record-high number of drug related deaths in November. Provisional data shows that a total of 128 people died in B.C. as a result of illicit drug use during November, an average of more than four a day. The previous high for a single month was 82 in January, 2016. The total illicit drug deaths for the year now sits at 755, an increase of 70.4 per cent over the number of deaths occurring the same time period last year.

“Clearly illicit drugs are becoming increasingly unpredictable and increasingly perilous,” said BC Chief coroner Lisa LaPointe, noting that something stronger than fentanyl has entered the drug stream, likely carfentanil.

“It’s harder to manage those who overdose. And for those who are trying to use drugs safely, it’s almost impossible.

LaPointe said the number of deaths is “heartbreaking,” and there needs to be a widespread change in the way the drug use is viewed both by the user and the wider community.

“People think this is somebody’ else’s problem — somebody else is at risk,” said LaPointe. “These are people are from all communities and all walks of life. There are teachers, university professors… people think they are immune because they don’t live in the Downtown East Side, but that’s not true.”

The biggest risk right now, she said, is using alone.

“Use (drugs) in the presence of somebody who can help you. As much as you think you are taking a lesser or safer dose.. you are at risk,” she said. “We hare seeing people die with a nalaxone kit open or with a needle in their arm.”

Having naloxone and medical help readily available when using, using an overdose-prevention site or supervised-consumption site wherever possible, and knowing the signs of an overdose and calling 911 immediately, is the best course of action.

An emergency response plan got to a limping start in Kelowna Friday, as only one of two planned Emergency Overdose sites was opened on Friday.

Living Positive Resource Centre was supposed to operate one site in a strip mall on Asher Road in Rutland and another was planned on Friday at the former Ellis Street Health Centre.

Due to tenant concerns, the Rutland site was not opened.

Interior Health said that they are currently looking for a replacement site, but they’ve yet to secure anything.

 


Just Posted

Kelowna mayoral candidate’s sign set aflame

Bobby Kennedy’s sign was set on fire on Saturday morning

TEDxKelowna looks to inspire Kelowna

The event will showcase ideas that transcend sectors and generations

Long awaited second power line in West Kelowna postponed

The power line was set to be completed in 2020 and will now be installed in 2025

Cops for Kids cyclists return home

After cycling 1,000 kilometres they have completed their 10 day journey

Sunshine ahead for Kelowna

Your weekly forecast shows that the sun will shine again on Tuesday

Meet the Chef: Kai Koroll, executive chef at Block One restaurant

Koroll honours the terroir of the Okanagan in every dish he serves

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trans Canada now open west of Chase, ‘heavy delays’

Few details available about crash that closed Trans Canada Highway west of Chase Sunday, Sept. 23

Oliver to get new sheriff from graduating class

Oliver will be one of a number of B.C. communities to get a member of the recent graduating class

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read