Vernon has seen a steady increase in drug-related calls since 2019: BCEHS

Increase in drug calls

In 2022, BC Emergency Health Services responded to more than 500 overdose and drug-poisoning calls in Vernon.

Crews were called to 513 incidents last year, up from 457 in 2021.

The data shows a steady increase in drug-related calls since 2019 which had 247 reported cases.

In 2020 there were 316 calls.

For 2017 and 2018 there were 322 and 285 calls respectively.

BC EHS reports 2016 had the lowest number of drug calls at 170.

Crews responded to 213 calls in West Kelowna last year and 661 in Penticton, which was down from the 2021 total of 748.

Of the three major Okanagan communities, Kelowna had more calls than Vernon and Penticton combined at 1,824.

Kamloops had the second-highest number of calls in the region at 1,285.

And it should come as no surprise Vancouver had the highest number of calls at 7,827.

Smaller communities like Lumby are not immune to the opioid crisis with BC EHS responding to seven drug calls last year.

Crews responded to 13 calls in Armstrong and 21 calls in Enderby.

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