Health Canada confirms laced chemicals found in illicit drugs in B.C.

Health Canada tests have confirmed the presence of dangerous substances laced into other illicit drugs in two B.C. communities.

W-18 found in drugs seized on Vancouver Island and in Surrey

Delta Police confiscated drugs containing W-18 after searching locations in Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey in June 2016. Health Canada says W-18 appeared in drugs seized in other raids in B.C. last year. (Delta Police)

Health Canada tests have confirmed the presence of dangerous substances laced into other illicit drugs in two B.C. communities.

The RCMP say pebble heroin seized in Surrey last December has come back positive for the chemical W-18, a drug developed as a potential painkiller.

W-18 is a synthetic opioid 10,000 more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

The Mounties say cocaine seized by the West Shore detachment on Vancouver Island last May has also tested positive for the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

Health Canada has warned RCMP that this particular strain of fentanyl had not been seen in the area before.

At the time the cocaine was seized, police say there had been three overdoses in the area that authorities were called to.

RCMP assistant commissioner Jim Gresham says these results are a reminder to illicit-drug users that there are dangers no matter where they buy their drugs.

"Unfortunately, there is no way for you to know what is really being sold to you. Please take steps to avoid making a potentially lethal decision," he said.

With files from the CBC