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Overdose numbers stabilize in South Okanagan

Image Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK
March 02, 2017 - 2:30 PM

PENTICTON - Overdose numbers in Penticton and the South Okanagan have stabilized following a spike in reports late last year, Interior Health Authority says.

Interior Health spokesperson Lesley Coates says from December 2016 to February of this year, they have received an average of seven suspected opioid overdose reports per month from Penticton Regional Hospital. During the same period there were less than five reports on average per month coming out of South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver.

Concerns were raised last November after a sharp increase in overdoses were reported at Penticton Regional Hospital, when 13 overdoses and one overdose death was reported in a two week period.

“We have not detected any significant overdose trends or changes in the South Okanagan since the increased activity we saw in November,” Coates says.

From June 2016 to January 15, 2017, a total of 50 overdoses were reported at Penticton Regional Hospital and seven cases reported at South Okanagan General Hospital.

Interior Health does not report on numbers of less than five overdoses reported in a month, Coates says.

In the South Okanagan reveal 37 per cent of overdoses are people between 19 and 29 years of age.

Take home Naloxone kits are now available at four locations in the South Okanagan and Similkameen:

  • Penticton Public Health at 740 Carmi Ave.
  • Oliver Health Care at 930 Spillway Rd.
  • Osoyoos Health Care at 4816 89 St.
  • Keremeos South Similkameen Health Centre at 700 3 St.

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