Three South Okanagan towns are among the top 15 areas in B.C. for overdoses in relation to toxicity in illicit drugs. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Three South Okanagan communities among highest in province for overdose deaths per 100k

B.C. simultaneously sees record numbers of illicit drug overdoses for a second straight month

Three South Okanagan communities are among the top 15 areas in B.C. for illicit drug overdose deaths.

Keremeos (pop. 1,502) ranked sixth on the list, with six overdose deaths between 2018 and 2020. This equates to 41.6 per 100,000 people.

Princeton (pop. 2,828) ranked 11th, also with six (35.1 per 100,000) since 2018, and Penticton (pop. 33,761) is 12th, with 43 (34.9 per 100,000) in that time.

The town of Hope (pop. 6,181) topped the charts with 12 deaths in two years, equating to 56.3 per 100,000 people. Vancouver, Lillooet, Peach River North and Grand Forks are next, before Keremeos.

The rank of each town in this list (Pg. 15) was determined by the number of overdose deaths per 100,000 people, meaning these areas do not nessesarily have the highest number of overdoses per capita in the province.

In 2020 so far (as of June), the average death rate in relation to drug toxicity in the Okanagan region is 26.3 per 100,000.

This comes with new information released by the BC Coroners Service Thursday, July 16, which includes updated reports on illicit drug toxicity deaths and fentanyl-detected drug deaths for the first six months of 2020.

READ MORE: Nearly 12 people died from overdoses every two days in June as B.C. sees continued spike

In the province, 175 illicit drug toxicity deaths were reported in June, 2020 alone. In June, nearly 12 people died of a fatal overdose every two days across the province for a total of 175 lives lost.

For the second straight month, B.C. is reporting the highest monthly total for deaths due to illicit substances.

The number of illicit drug toxicity death in June surpasses the previous highs of 171, reported in May 2020, and 161 reported in December 2016.

B.C. has recorded four consecutive months with over 100 illicit drug toxicity deaths.

Click here to read the full report online.

READ MORE: RCMP warn of fake gold scam in southeastern B.C.

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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