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

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district sees about a third of students return to class

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools offers approximate tally during first week of back-to-school

Iconic white raven spotted in area north of Nanaimo

Photographer John Domovich spotted rare bird earlier this week in Whiskey Creek area

South Wellington community association hopes to save old school from demolition

Nanaimo school district staff to report on fate of South Wellington Elementary later this month

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

UPDATE: Missing indigenous youth sought by Nanaimo RCMP located

Family of William Baker worried and said he was in company of people putting him at risk

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Plan in place for B.C. Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

Stz’uminus motivational speaker and musician named ‘emerging cultural leader’ in Nanaimo

Patrick Aleck is among the recipients of the city’s Culture and Heritage Awards

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Property tax increase ‘heartless’ in these hard times

Pandemic has cost people their jobs, notes letter writer

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read