A dangerous opioid, fentanyl, one that has killed many times, is suspected of being responsible for 16 overdoses in Vancouver Sunday. There were no deaths but all had to be rushed to hospital, six going down in just one hour between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
This comes on the heels of deaths from using drugs that had been mixed with fentanyl. A 17-year-old male and a 31-year-old male died last weekend from the drug and a North Vancouver couple in their early 30s, the parents of a 2-year-old, died on July 20 after using heroin found to have been laced with fentanyl.
Police and health authorities say the drug can be up to 100 times more powerful than other opioids or morphine. They also beleive it is responsible for about 500 deaths due to overdose in B.C. since 2013. Drug users are contintually being warned by police and health officials, in the media, on the streets, about the influx of fentanyl but it does not appear the warnings are getting through.
After Sunday’s rash of overdoses, Vancouver police detective Randy Fincham issued yet another warning. Once again he said that users should monitor the amount they use, starting with a low dose in case their product has fentanyl in it. Users should not use alone, he said, adding that the pills ingested by those who overdosed on Sunday were pink.
The drug is normally used in small doses as a pain killer for cancer patients.