The Board of Directors at Interior Health is coming to terms with how to deal with the opiod crisis.
The most recent numbers show 12 overdose deaths in Vernon this year to the end of May, 36 in Kelowna.
Medical Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema told the board this week, Interior Health can`t deal with it alone.
“People say what about education, what about the stigma, what about enforcement, things like that and that is something that needs to be talked about.”
Dr Mema says a multi-stakeholder approach is necessary to deal with the crisis.
“That includes people like RCMP, housing, health of course, but also education, concerned citizens, businesses. So, a task force would be ideal and there are a number of task groups”
Dr Silvina Mema says each community needs to have a lead group to help the fight.
“That would step up and be that backbone organization that brings everyone together, but that requires leadership, time commitment and who’s going to do that.”
She says the health board is interested in exploring that further, but can’t be the facilitator when its role is to provide health services.
An effort will also be undertaken to develop a detailed profile of the crisis in the region.
New figures coming out later this week are expected to paint an even grimmer picture.