IH is concerned by Penticton's rate of fatal overdoses as a result of opioid use. The healthy authority has been ramping up its outreach efforts, even implementing the Naloxone Challenge to train businesses and organizations how to administer the lifesaving drug, yet the death rate still increased this year. (File Photo)

April records 176 overdose deaths: B.C. Coroners Service

The B.C. Coroners Service is reporting 176 deaths due to drug toxicity in April, 2021, representing a 10 per cent increase from March, as the overdose crisis continues to claim lives in B.C.

Including April, the province is reporting 680 deaths this year, the highest four-month total since the province began reporting overdose deaths, underscoring the tragic impacts of the drug toxicity crisis.

In addition, the province also reports one overdose death in the East Kootenay, for a total of five this year. Four of those deaths occurred in Cranbrook and one in Kimberley, according to the B.C. Coroners Service, which is now releasing quarterly municipal-level overdose numbers.

In a statement, Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner for the B.C. Coroners Service, said every life lost due to illicit drug toxicity is a ‘profound tragedy.’

“These latest numbers emphasize the toxicity of the illicit drug supply in B.C.,” Lapointe said. “We know that substance use disorder is a complex health issue, and those experiencing it need meaningful and compassionate services and supports. Far too often, we hear from families who have lost a loved one that no help was available despite desperate searches over months or years.

“It is critical that harm reduction services, including safe supply, are accessible where and when people need them, and that recovery services are evidence based and accountable.”

Based on toxicology reports, fentanyl was detected in 86 per cent of deaths attributed to illicit drug toxicity this year,

Sheila Malcolmson, the B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, also released a statement expressing sorrow and pledging government action.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

The Food Recovery Program has pivoted to more meal production during this pandemic year. Submitted file
Kimberley Food Recovery Program producing more meals during pandemic

This past Monday, June 14, Shannon Grey-Duncan from the Kimberley Food Recovery… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Local environmental group Mainstreams conducting more work along the banks of Mark Creek. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Mainstreams continues riparian and aesthetic enhancement project along Mark Creek

Local environmental organization Mainstreams was back along the banks of Mark Creek… Continue reading

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read