Opioid Crisis

Kelowna is headed toward the deadliest year of its growing opioid crisis. Figures released from the coroner’s office show that 38 people died in Kelowna from the toxic drug supply between January and June of this year and it gets worse on a per-capita basis, this year there have been 23 drug overdose deaths in Vernon and 11 in Penticton from January through April. Across the province, 1,095 people have died between January and June.


“The ever-increasing toxicity of the illicit drug market is taking a heartbreaking toll on the lives and well-being of members of our communities across the province,” said BC’s chief coroner. “Deaths due to toxic drugs in the first half of 2022 have surpassed the number of deaths experienced in the same period in 2021, putting our province on track for a record loss of life, “Nothing will change if we don’t ensure that people can get the help when they need it — whether that’s safe supply or treatment and recovery. This epidemic in Kelowna will not fix itself, we have to look at healing and recovery in a holistic manner. We cannot keep saying what we want to change, we simply need the right people to take action to create that change.


Communities and health care professionals must unite to disentangle the opioid crisis, for far too long our governments have shown they are incapable of the impartiality and compassion necessary to assist those who cannot assist themselves and this crisis will continue to destroy families and haunt society until someone cares enough to end it.  Change only occurs when the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change. People want change because they realize these patterns we have engaged in are not working.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”

Nido Qubein