More overdoses as fentanyl epidemic grows in Penticton

The suspected overdose death of a 43-year-old Penticton woman Monday is another in a growing epidemic of fentanyl problems.

Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth with the Narcan nasal kit officers are now carrying to use in the case of an opiate overdose. RCMP in Penticton like elsewhere are reporting a spike in overdose cases

The suspected overdose death of a 43-year-old Penticton woman Monday at the Black Forest Motel was just another in what is believed to be the growing, fentanyl-related epidemic locally.

It was one of at least two overdoses that day. The second was in the early evening at a Government Street residence. However the male victim survived after being given two doses of the opiate antidote Narcan and taken to Penticton Regional Hospital.

Read more: Drug overdose deaths surge 74 per cent so far in 2016

“We’re seeing more than usual. I can’t say for sure but I’d say we’ve had 13 overdoses and one death (Monday) in the last two weeks,” said Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth of the Penticton RCMP. “We’ll see in a week or a month what we normally see in a year, in fact it’s daily, it’s a huge problem.”

In the case of the death, while the exact cause is not known, the woman reportedly showed signs of extensive intravenous drug use.

Police officers along with other emergency first responders now carry Narcan kits which can be administered and possibly reverse the overdose.

Read more: New fentanyl website supports first responders safety

Similar problems related to fentanyl are being reported in many other cities and government agencies are currently looking at ways to combat the problem.

“Health authorities are doing what they can, police are doing what we can, but the problem is there are still people who have addictions and it controls them,” said Wrigglesworth. “There are drugs out there that are super powerful and people are dying.”