The small North Okanagan town of Enderby showed one of the highest rates of overdose deaths in B.C. for the first four months of the year.
The BC Coroners Service’s illicit drug toxicity deaths report for the first half of 2021 lists rates per 100,000 people by top local health areas.
Based on its small population, Enderby is listed in the third spot, with a rate of 73. There were three deaths in Enderby between January and April this year.
The list is by local health area, with Merritt and Powell River at the top in the first and second spot, consecutively, and Peace River South and Hope listed as fourth and fifth.
For the rest of the Okanagan, Penticton had 10 deaths, putting it in the 13th spot; Vernon is the 30th spot and had nine deaths; the Central Okanagan is No. 40 with 22 deaths; Revelstoke is 42nd and had one death; Salmon Arm is 51 and had two deaths, in the 54th spot is the Southern Okanagan with one death and Armstrong/Spallumcheen is listed at 65 with zero deaths.
The per-capita death rates are updated every four months, whereas the coroners’ report covers January to June.
During that six-month period, Vernon is one of 15 listed top townships, with 16 overdose deaths for the first half of 2021. There were 26 for all of 2020 and 14 for all of 2019.
Vernon’s death toll is the lowest of those listed, compared to the most deaths, 239, in Vancouver. Kelowna sits in eighth place with 25 overdoses so far this year. There were 60 in Kelowna in 2020 and 34 in 2019.
B.C.-wide, the highest death rate, 267, is among those aged 50-59, followed by 30-39-year-olds with 238.
There were 209 deaths in the 40-49 age range, 143 of those aged 19-29, 126 in the 60-69 age group. There was 15 youth under 19 and 13 seniors aged 70-79.