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Crime

Delta Police called to 9 drug overdoses in 20-minute period

More evidence that even recreational drug users are endangering their lives, with an unprecedented number of overdoses overnight. Jill Bennett reports.

Delta Police say overnight they were called to nine drug overdose calls in only 20 minutes.

Police say all the drugs were suspected to be tainted with fentanyl.

The nine people who took the drugs are recreational users and thought they were using cocaine.

The reports came in within 20 minutes of each other from four separate locations. In each case, the victims reported breathing problems, including one person who went into full cardiac arrest. The Delta Fire Department and British Columbia Ambulance Service attended three scenes and successfully used Narcan on eight of nine individuals.

“One of the cases last night was a 19-year-old young adult who was home with his parents,” said Delta Chief Const. Neil Dubord. “And [he] began to overdose after using cocaine that was laced with fentanyl we believe. As a result, [he] went into full cardiac arrest and was saved with Narcan. So there’s a degree of sadness in that.”

Delta Police are now putting out a strong warning.

“At this point, it is not enough to simply remind drug users to ‘know your source’,” said Dubord. “The motivation of drug-dealing individuals to make money clearly supersedes their social responsibility in this equation and they are selling drugs contaminated with other more devastating drugs to unsuspecting users. Despite the ongoing warnings and media coverage, many drug users still appear to be completely unaware or unprepared to deal with the presence of drugs like fentanyl in the drugs they are using. With last night’s overdoses it is miraculous that all of the patients recovered and we are not this morning talking about nine overdose fatalities.”

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READ MORE: Number of B.C. fentanyl-related deaths spikes in first half of 2016

Police have now seized the drugs from the scene and will be conducting an investigation to try to determine the source as they believe the cases are linked.

For people who choose to use drugs, Delta Police are offering the following reminders:

  • fentanyl and W-18 cannot be detected by looks, smell or taste and are being misrepresented and sold by drug dealers as other drugs
  • do not use alone and start with a small amount
  • do not mix with other substances as it can increase the risk of overdose
  • use where help is easily available
  • do not be afraid to call 9-1-1 for assistance

If anyone has any information about these cases, they are asked to call Delta Police at 604-946-4411 or Crime Stoppers BC at 1-800-222-8477.

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