Under normal circumstances, Vancouver police say they see two or three deaths a week from drug overdoses, according to a departmental news release.
However in just over the last two weeks, there have been 11 deaths in the city believed to be linked to drug overdoses.
The fatalities have taken place in East Vancouver, the Downtown Eastside, and downtown involving people between the ages of 20 to 56.
Not all of them were known drug users.
“It is not known what toxic substance is responsible, but fentanyl may be the cause,” the VPD stated.
The news release noted that the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose begin with “severe sleepiness, slow heartbeat, trouble breathing or slow, shallow breathing or snoring, cold, clammy skin, and trouble with walking or talking”.
Police advise drug users not to ingest alone and to learn about naloxone, which is a medication that reverses the effects of a drug overdose.
The province has a Take Home Naloxone program.
Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that carries a higher risk of overdose than other opioids. In 2014, it started being detected in heroin linked to B.C. overdoses.
Meanwhile, Vancouver police have also announced that charges have been laid against six people in connection with a fentanyl investigation last year.
The Project Trooper probe resulted in the seizure of 23,763 fentanyl pills, 19 kilograms of cocaine, 1.7 kilograms of heroin, 12.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, $575,000 in cash, six handguns, two shotguns, four rifles, eight vehicles, and property valued at $3.78 million including a Downtown Eastside apartment building.
Charged with various offences are 36-year-old Dennis Halstead, 36-year-old Jason Heyman, 40-year-old Cameron Mak, 47-year-old Charleen Flintroy, 32-year-old Tara Marshall, and 32-year-old Pedro Keymatch.
Me: I forgot what I was going to ask you. What was I gonna ask you? Ted: How do I get such a lustrous beard? Me: Yup. That’s it. Ted: I use horse shampoo. Me: Ohh… Does it have any side effects? Ted: …. Ted: NEIGH!!! *horse movement body gesture*
Ted Wilson is one of the artists and founders of Stellar Jay Studios. He did all the voice acting as the announcer in Dad Beat Dads, filling our game with many dad jokes/dad related puns.