A friend of the 17-year-old Vancouver boy who died from a suspected fentanyl overdose over the weekend says the young man was an athletic teenager and full of life.
Vancouver police say Jack Bodie died on Monday after taking fake Oxycontin pills cut with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
It's yet another incident in a recent spate of overdoses linked to the drug, which police say is often mixed with recreational street drugs because it's cheap and accessible.
"Being taken at 17 is just way too young," said Bodie's friend Luca Bonamici. "He always had a smile on his face. He had a bright future and it's been taken away before his and his parents' eyes."
Police said Bodie and a 16-year-old boy lost consciousness in an East Vancouver park when they overdosed on green, fake Oxycontin pills, known as "fake 80s," tainted with fentanyl.
The 16-year-old has since recovered, but Bodie, who had been on life-support, didn't survive.
Spate of fentanyl-related deaths
A 31-year-old North Vancouver man also died from a suspected fentanyl overdose over the British Columbia Day long weekend, although the B.C. coroners office said the drug may not have been involved in that particular case.
Police said the man was found in distress by a family member on Friday and died at the scene, despite efforts to save his life.
North Vancouver RCMP Cpl. Geoff Harder said a green pill with 80 stamped on one side and CDM stamped on the other was found nearby.
Coroner Barb McLintock said there were 10 potential drug overdose deaths in B.C. over the long weekend and toxicology tests are underway to determine their causes.
"While the numbers are concerning and unfortunate, they're not out of the ordinary," said McLintock.
"This is consistent with numbers of overdose deaths from illicit drugs over a long weekend in BC."
Less than two weeks earlier, North Vancouver couple Amelia and Hardy Leighton were found dead in their home after ingesting toxic levels of fentanyl in combination with other drugs.
Overdoses common in recreational users
Fentanyl is roughly 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and is sometimes mixed with other recreational drugs — with or without users' knowledge.
The BC Centre for Disease Control says the number of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl has risen to 25 per cent of all provincial cases from five per cent over the past three years.
Dr. Jane Buxton, the harm reduction lead at the centre, says overdoses are more common in recreational users.
"People often don't see themselves at risk," said Buxton.
"They're snorting it or smoking it, and feeling, 'If I'm not injecting it, it won't do me any harm.'"