So far this year, 1736 Naloxone kits have been distributed throughout Penticton, 904 of these were to people who have previously used a kit. (File photo)

Emergency services organization says it is helping to prevent fatal overdoses

BC Emergency Health Services has responded to 233 emergency calls for potential ODs so far this year

Despite the record high number of fatal overdoses in Penticton this year, BC Emergency Health Services is confident it is saving lives.

So far this year, the provincial health authority has responded to 233 emergency calls for potential overdoses in the Penticton area. This equates to an average of 21 calls per month.

While most people have been revived, a recent report by the BC Coroners Service revealed there have been 17 fatal overdoses so far this year, ranking Penticton the 12th deadliest city for overdoses in the province.

Read more: City of Penticton records all time high for fatal overdoses

The provincial health authority said it believes many of these fatal overdoses could have been avoided had emergency services been called. According to the organization, a patient has a 99 per cent chance of survival when paramedics respond and are able to administer naloxone or narcan.

Naloxone, a medication that quickly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, is proving to be a well-used tool for many in the Penticton area. So far this year, the province has distributed 1,736 kits locally, nearly double the amount compared to last year.

The medication is available in B.C. without a prescription and is given as an injection into a muscle.

A recent report by the BC Centre for Disease Control seen below breaks down overdose information across B.C. To view information specific to the Interior, select the region from the drop down menu in the top right.


@philmclachlan
phil.mclachlan@pentictonwesternnews.com

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