A community wellness worker demonstrates the use of a Naloxone kit in Campbell River, August 2018. File photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

North Island saw five overdose deaths in two months, according to BC Coroner

Area has third highest rate, with 15 fatal illicit drug fatalities by May 31

Overdose deaths continue to mount on the North Island, according to newly-published data from the BC Coroners Service.

The latest report on unintentional illicit drug deaths in B.C. indicates that five people died of overdoses in April and May in the northern Vancouver Island health service area.

That brings the total North Island death count to 15 by the end of May, according to data from the BC Coroner published on Thursday.

This includes the area from Comox Valley-north, along with a section of the mainland north of the Sunshine Coast.

A map from the Ministry of Health shows the North Vancouver Island Health Service Delivery Area

Previous data from the BC Coroner stated that 10 people had died in the North Island by the end of March.

Rates of illicit drug toxicity deaths are highest in Vancouver, where there were 127 fatalities by the end of May, or 44.3 per 100,000 people.

The second-highest rate is in the Fraser East area, with 41 deaths, or 31.7 per 100,000 people.

The North Island has the third-highest rate, at 28.6 per 100,000 people.

Naloxone training and kits and other overdose prevention services are offered at the AIDS Vancouver Island office in downtown Campbell River, located at 1371C Cedar St.

Its hours of operation are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and statutory holidays.

The group’s mobile overdose prevention team does harm reduction supply delivery and support work on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:30-7:30 p.m.

More information about harm reduction can be found at towardtheheart.com.

READ MORE: AIDS Vancouver Island warns about deadly substances as fatal overdoses mount on North Island

VIDEO: Mobile harm reduction team on the road to fight overdose crisis in Campbell River

READ MORE: How a Campbell River group prevents fatalities amid the opioid crisis


@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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