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Police warn drug users about ‘high-potency’ fentanyl circulating in North Surrey

Illicit drug toxicity is leading cause of unnatural death in B.C.
Surrey RCMP are warning drug users in the city to be careful to avoid overdose. (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration photo)

Police are urging people who use drugs in Surrey to be extra vigilant due to a “batch of high-potency fentanyl” circulating in the North Surrey area.

Surrey RCMP say street doses of Fentanyl can come in various different forms, including a variety of colours and textures or pressed into a pill form that can resemble legitimate prescription drugs.

“The potency of fentanyl can vary significantly, even if you have bought it from the same dealer and it looks the same, it may not be,” RCMP said in a release Thursday (Oct. 20).

Fraser Health notes that illicit drug toxicity is the leading cause of unnatural death in B.C. and is second only to cancers in terms of years of life lost. At least 10,326 British Columbians, including 4,046 in Fraser Health, have lost their lives to the illicit drug supply since the public health emergency was first declared in April 2016.

“The toxicity and unpredictability of the unregulated supply is driving drug poisoning deaths,” said Dr. Alexis Crabtree, with the Public Health Response team.

SEE ALSO: New toxic-drug alert system rolls out in Fraser Health region using text messages

Surrey RCMP wants to remind people who use drugs:

• Never use alone, to carry Narcan and to use Safepoint located at 2-10681 135A Street.

• If you see someone who you think may be overdosing, call 911. There is a Good Samaritan Law in place to protect drug users from prosecution for simple drug possession charges.

• Fraser Health offers harm reduction services including drug checking. Some additional resources can be found on the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions stop over dose site as well as through the provincial harm reduction program Toward the Heart.

• If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can contact the B.C. Alcohol and Drug Information and Referral Service Line at 1-800-663-1441 to find services available to you.

– With files from Tom Zillich

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