Drug overdose deaths continue tragic climb in the Okanagan

An intravenous drug user in a downtown Kelowna doorway

Vancouver, it added, had the highest rate of overdose deaths and also the largest rate increase.

The B.C. Coroners Service says more than 1,100 people have died from suspected drug overdose deaths so far this year. The province is already on track to record at least 500 more than past year.

The new numbers show fentanyl has been detected in about 83 per cent of fatal overdoses this year, up 147 per cent over the same period in 2016. More than 90 per cent of deadly overdoses happen indoors.

In September, there were just three fatal drug overdose deaths in Kelowna and just one in Kamloops.

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The coroner says in most cases fentanyl was combined with other drugs, most often cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines.

Preliminary data showed there was an average of six deaths a day in the five days following income assistance payments between January and February.

No deaths are reported to have occurred at any supervised consumption site or a drug overdose prevention site.

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