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.

Just Posted

Graffiti Days 2019 a huge success

Hundreds of cars and spectators — including a History channel TV personality — turned out for the event

Bus company fears for future if another licence issued for Interior routes

Adventure Charters waiting to see if Ebus BC is approved for Prince George-Kamloops run

Sea Cadets wind up another year with Ceremonial Review

Corps is fundraising for a trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2020

WorkBC helping break down barriers to employment

Office offers a wide range of services to help people find sustainable careers

Local News Briefs: Get garden ideas with Ashcroft tour

The Rivertown Players are back, invasive plant management, reduced tipping fees, and more

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Most Read