Data released by the B.C. Coroners Service Sept. 23, 2020 shows that the Okanagan is on pace to record more overdose deaths in 2020 than in 2019. (Jesse Day - Western News)

2020 overdose death toll rises to 73 in the Okanagan

Just under half of the deaths occurred in Kelowna

The Okanagan is on pace to record more overdose deaths in 2020 than in 2019, according to data from the B.C. Coroners Service.

This would be the first year the overdose death toll has risen year-to-year in the Okanagan since the number spiked to 155 in 2017.

READ MORE: First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

A total of 73 people in the Okanagan have died from illicit drug overdoses so far in 2020, compared to 84 in all of 2019.

Thirty-six of the 73 deaths so far in 2020 occurred in Kelowna. That surpasses the city’s total of 33 through the entirety of 2019.

The years of 2017 and 2018 were the worst on record for overdose deaths in the Okanagan with 155 and 129, respectively.

From 2010 to 2016, the Okanagan saw a combined total of 242 overdose fatalities, for an average of 34 per year.

The month of August 2020 saw seven overdose deaths in the Okanagan, down from 13 in July and 14 in June. Three of the seven occurred in Kelowna.

From 2018 to August 2020, there have been 45 overdose fatalities in Penticton, six in Keremeos and seven in Princeton. All three communities rank within the top 15 local health authorities in the province with the highest death rate per 100,000 people in that time frame.

(B.C. Coroners Service)

Across the province, 1,068 people have died from overdoses so far this year. Vancouver has the highest number of total deaths of all townships in 2020 at 259, followed by Surrey’s 130 and Victoria’s 95. Kelowna and Kamloops both have the fourth highest number at 36.

Fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine are the three drugs most commonly associated with the loss of life. Nearly 80 per cent of all overdose deaths in the province this year have involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, while just over 50 per cent have involved cocaine.

READ MORE: Some B.C. nurses given green light to prescribe safe drugs amid overdose spike



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

B.C. overdosesDrugsfentanylopioid crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

MLA Dan Ashton (Contributed)
Penticton MLA won’t seek leadership of B.C. Liberals

Dan Ashton believes a moderate leader with broad appeal is needed

DriveBC camera.
Vehicle into ditch on Highway 97C

The crash happened about 8:15 a.m. Tuesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Most Read