There were five fatal overdoses in less than 10 hours in Abbotsford on Friday, according to police.
Police said three men and two women died of overdoses between 10:15 a.m. and 7:20 p.m. All five died alone.
“This week, first responders and health-care providers have seen dozens of overdoses which, regrettably, has become the norm with the proliferation of fentanyl and carfentanil in street drugs,” Abbotsford police said in a statement. “But five tragic deaths in such a short period of time is absolutely alarming.”
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The victims ranged in age from 40 to 67, according to Abbotsford police Const. Ian MacDonald. Four of the five died indoors.
“Two things that people have in their minds for whatever reason is that all of these overdose deaths… are all happening in back alleys, that they’re predominately young people who are partying or entrenched drugs users who are passing away in the back alley,” MacDonald said.
“I think yesterday is the perfect illustration that we have to break that mindset.”
Police are waiting for toxicology exams to determine whether the deaths are connected to fentanyl or carfentanil but warn that drugs currently on the streets may be even more deadly than usual.
On Saturday, Interior Health issued an illicit drug alert for both Kelowna and Kamloops following an “an increased number of fatal overdoses in the Lower Mainland on Friday.”
On Friday, Island Health issued a warning following a number of overdoses in Victoria.
— With files from Simon Little