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Two people dead following suspected illicit drug overdoses in Nelson

Nelson Police is reminding the public of current high dangers in the local illicit drug supply which may draw a nexus to these events.

Nelson Police is advising the public the ongoing dangers of the local illicit drug supply following two separate, and unrelated reports, of suspected illicit drug overdoses happening last week in the Cottonwood Falls and Rail Town area of Nelson.

In a media release Monday, Nelson Police said dispatch was contacted by BC Ambulance Service Thursday, March 25th, requesting police to attend.

Sunday, March 28th, a member of the public called Nelson Police to attend.

“In both events, BC Ambulance Service and Nelson Fire Rescue Service attended the scene as well,” Nelson Police said.

“Both parties regrettably passed away in what appear to be suspected illicit drug overdoses.”

Nelson Police said although these events are unrelated and occurred days apart, police are reminding the public of current high dangers in the local illicit drug supply which may draw a nexus to these events.

“We would like to extend our condolences on behalf of Nelson Police Department staff and the community for the tragic loss that these families have incurred,” Nelson Police said.

“NPD will continue to investigate which street drugs were involved.

“However, it appears much of the illicit drug supply in town may be of danger to those who consume it.”

Last week the BC Coroners Service identified 155 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in February, the 11th consecutive month in which the province has recorded more than 100 lives lost.

The BC Coroners Service said the total number of deaths is the largest ever recorded in the month of February and an increase of 107% over the total number of deaths recorded in February 2020.

BC Coroners Service said the average of 5.5 lives lost each day makes February the second consecutive month in which the average number of daily deaths was above 5. The 1,724 deaths recorded in 2020 work out to an average of 4.7 deaths a day.

Also of note, 15% of the lives lost in 2021 were people 60 years of age and older and 40% were over age 50.

These increasing numbers continue a trend that has been observed in older age cohorts over the last several years.

Nelson Police said Illicit Drug consumers are advised not to use alone, to carry naloxone, and to get drugs tested if possible.

And anyone witnessing someone overdosing, call 911 immediately.