Carfentanil, an opioid more toxic than fentanyl, linked to more deaths in B.C.

There were 64 deaths linked to carfentanil in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 35 in all of 2018

An increase in traces of carfentanil found in opioids in the province is being linked to 64 deaths in B.C. between January and March of 2019. (Black Press Media file photo)

There were 268 fatal overdoses from illicit drugs across B.C. in the first quarter of the year, and a concerning amount of those deaths involved carfentanil – a drug more toxic than fentanyl.

Carfentanil, a powerful opioid used by veterinarians for large animals like elephants, was found in toxicology reports on 64 British Columbians who died between January and March, the BC Coroners Service said Wednesday.

That’s compared to 35 deaths linked to the opioid in 2018.

Carfentanil is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl – the illicit street drug that accounts for 80 per cent of the 3,200 overdose deaths that have occurred since 2017.

READ MORE: Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem, report finds

READ MORE: Top doctor urges B.C. to decriminilize illicit drugs

In March, 104 people fatally overdosed, or roughly three people per day. That is 34 per cent less than the same period in 2018. B.C. also saw a 34 per cent decrease in the number of deaths compared to the same period last year.

The cities experiencing the highest number of overdoses are Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria and Abbotsford.

Overdose deaths by city
Infogram


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Brain Injury Awareness Month brings discussion to Vernon

The Vernon Brain Health Symposium takes place June 1

Kal Tire Team on a roll to conquer cancer

Riders from Vernon, Kelowna, Hope and Vancouver already raised nearly $50,000

Vernon hockey icon heads to B.C. hall

Ken Holland, GM of the Edmonton Oilers, inducted into B.C. Sports Hall of Fame Thursday

RCMP set to patrol Okanagan lakes

Vernon-North Okanagan members will be on area waters helping keep boaters safe

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: weekend rain

Environment Canada forecasts continuing bad weather for the start of the weekend

BREAKING: Court says B.C. can’t restrict oil shipments in key case for Trans Mountain

A five-judge Appeal Court panel agreed unanimously that B.C.’s proposed legislation was not constitutional

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Last call for contestants in Teen Band Contest

Winners will play on stage at Penticton Peach Festival in August

Hope grows for Shuswap foodbanks thanks to modest volunteers

Secret garden donated 1,100 pounds of vegetables produced last year

Salmon Arm seeks to borrow $845,000 for Shuswap Regional Airport runway

Residents have until June 24 to voice opposition to bylaw

5-foot-long snake reported lost in Rutland

Buddy the snake is reported to be harmless and was reported missing May 22

Rockslide closes one southbound lane 2 km north of Summerland

DriveBC reported the slide just after 6:30 a.m.

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Lake Country Council passes motion to have more regulations on vaping

With vaping on the rise and its health risks uncertain, Gambell wants provisions in place

Most Read