Kelowna RCMP also on front lines of overdose crisis

When it became clear the province was in the grip of an overdose crisis due to fentanyl - the RCMP made an effort to train its officers in the use of naloxone to revive overdose victims. 

The Mounties say nationally, 13,700 naloxone kits were purchased for distribution to all divisions across Canada.

As of mid-January in BC - over 5,254 officers have been trained to administer naloxone including members in Kelowna. 

According to RCMP Sergeant Annie Linteau between October 2016 and February 7th this year -  Kelowna officers have administered naloxone 5 times - and all 5 individuals survived.

In the same period, naloxone was used by police 73 times province-wide. 

Numbers for naloxone use by the Kelowna Fire Department and BC Ambulance were not yet available.

Interior Health reports 18 overdose deaths in the region in January, 2017 - down from 30 in December.

8 of those overdosew deaths were in Kelowna - the highest among I-H communities.

The BC Coroner is expected to release February's provincial overdose numbers within the next few days.

Last week, the City of Vancouver reported its highest rate of overdose calls for the year for the week of February 26 to March 5th at 174, with most of the calls on the Downtown Eastside. 

Vancouver Police also reported 14 suspected overdose deaths across the city last week, which is 6 more than the week before, but toxicology tests are still being performed to confirm those. 

Last year in BC, more than 900 people died from illicit drug overdoses.