Overdose rates are climbing in the Okanagan.
Interior Health says the region had 50 overdose deaths in the first four months of this year compared with 76 in all of last year.
Dr. Silvina Mema, Medical Health Officer with Interior Health says The Okanagan is one of the areas experiencing the largest impact with a greater than 50 per cent increase in illicit drug overdose death rates compared to 2016.
While heroin remains the drug most often associated with overdoses, people who are overdosing are also reporting use of other drugs including stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
Dr. Mema says the biggest challenges in overdose response right now are stigma and reaching the people who use drugs who are not street involved.
“Overdoses are happening on the street, in private homes and among all socio-economic groups.
Interior Health is urging everyone who uses illegal drugs to stop, if at all possible, or take precautions to prevent overdoses.