Pubdate: Sun, 29 Oct 2017
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Tiffany Crawford
Page: 3


Abbotsford police issue warning after three men, two women die from
overdoses in 10-hour period on Friday

Five people died within 10 hours from suspected drug overdoses in
Abbotsford Friday.

The victims were between the ages of 40 and 67, and most were found
inside their Abbotsford homes.

Between 10:15 a.m. and 7:20 p.m., first-responders attended dozens of
calls about residents overdosing on drugs. Five of those were fatal.

Const. Ian MacDonald says while overdoses have become normal in the
city, it is shocking to see so many die in a day. He said the high
amount of fentanyl and carfentanil in street drugs is horrifying.

"It is a nefarious game-changer and what scares the daylights out of
me is that we have (drug) users asking for fentanyl," he said. "Five
tragic deaths in such a short period of time is absolutely alarming."

MacDonald said three of those that died were men and two were women.
Four of the five died inside residences, and one person was found
slumped against the wall of a business. All were alone when they died.

"This could have the potential to be a deadly weekend if we didn't
warn people," said MacDonald, who said he was surprised by the ages of
the victims.

Two of the victims were found by other members of the household.
MacDonald says they don't suspect the victims know each other, but
they're investigating to determine whether they all took the same substance.

MacDonald's concern is that residents continue to use these
"deadlier-than-usual" street drugs alone, despite warnings to always
have a sober buddy who can call 911.

"Nothing is safe. We are still seeing it everywhere - in pills,
powders and liquids," he said.

Authorities believe the fatalities are linked to fentanyl or
carfentanil, but won't know for sure until toxicology exams are completed.

"Every day another fatal overdose is added to the record number that
is being established for the province," said MacDonald early Saturday.

Earlier this month the Fraser Health Authority reported 335 deaths
from illicit drug overdoses in the first eight months of this year,
the highest number of any health region.

Officials say a "disproportionate number" of those overdosing within
Fraser Health are men between the ages of 19 and 59 employed in the

- - With files from Lori Culbert
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt