March 4, 2019 4:27 pm
Updated: March 4, 2019 8:14 pm

Opioid-tainted cocaine suspected amid weekend spike in Lower Mainland overdoses

A drug alert issued by Fraser Health on Monday warns that tainted cocaine may be connected to a spike in overdoses in Surrey on Sunday.

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Health officials have issued a public warning after an alarming spike in overdoses in the Lower Mainland over the weekend.

According to BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) paramedics were called to 122 suspected overdose calls in the region between Friday and Sunday.

READ MORE: ‘Ghastly’ spike in overdoses sees Vancouver record deadliest month of 2018

Vancouver accounted for 74 of those calls, while Surrey accounted for 20 of them.

According to an overdose alert from Fraser Health, there were at least 12 overdoses reported in the city on Sunday, several of them believed to involve cocaine tainted with fentanyl or a similar powerful opioid.

Health officials say if people insist on using drugs, they should not do so alone, and should make use of supervised consumption sites.

If users are taking drugs on their own, they should make a plan and have someone check on them, Fraser Health said.

It also recommends drug users have their supply tested, and use small amounts.

More to come…

WATCH: (Aired: Feb. 7, 2019) New overdose statistics lead to new calls for decriminalization

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