FILE - In this June 6, 2017, file photo, a reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Overdoses led to 90 deaths in the first month of 2019, with more than one-in-ten of those caused by carfentanil – a deadly opioid 100 times stronger than illicit fentanyl.

The BC Coroners Service said Tuesday that there were roughly 3 deaths per day in B.C. in January.

Carfentanil, a powerful narcotic used to tranquilize elephants, was detected in 13 toxicology reports. That’s compared to 35 deaths in 2018 and 71 deaths in the second half of 2017.

READ MORE: B.C.’s top doctor cites ‘trial batch,’ as possible link to rash of drug overdoses

READ MORE: China, RCMP ink deal to battle flow of deadly fentanyl

Illicit fentanyl was responsible for 87 per cent of the 1,510 overdose deaths last year, oftentimes taken unknowingly within cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. Fatal overdoses where fentanyl was not detected amounts to roughly 285 deaths per year.

READ MORE: Fentanyl-linked overdose deaths soar in B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. launches new drug-checking program, expands fentanyl testing

In January, a total of 24 people died in Vancouver, followed by eight in Surrey and five in Victoria.

Roughly 85 per cent occurred inside. Not a single death happened at an overdose prevention site or safe consumption site.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge hockey player hunting a Stanley Cup

Brad Hunt got into his first NHL playoff game against the Vancouver Canucks

Staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Maple Ridge Seniors Village

Fraser Health is on site implementing outbreak protocols at the seniors care facility

UPDATE: Man injured in targeted shooting in Maple Ridge

Shots fired from one vehicle into a white Hyundai

LETTER: Reward offered to help relocate wallet lost in Maple Ridge

Grocery store worker trying to find his valuables – likely lost in a Good Samaritan’s van

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read