Fentanyl suspected as drug overdoses spike in Prince George

Drug users in Prince George are being warned about a dramatic spike in overdoses, after reports of 13 overdoses in just one week.

There were 13 drug overdoses in one week in the northern city, RCMP say that is unusually high

There were 13 reports of drug overdoses in Prince George in just one week. RCMP suspect Fentanyl may be to blame. (ALERT)

Drug users in Prince George are being warned about a dramatic spike in overdoses, after 13 were reported in just one week. 

"It's very concerning for us obviously that drug users are overdosing at such an alarming rate," said Cpl. Craig Douglass with Prince George RCMP.

While there have been no reports of fatalities, officials say the recent rash of overdoses is unusually high and they suspect Fentanyl is to blame. 

But they won't know for sure until the toxicology results come back. 

There were two overdoses on Tuesday and almost half a dozen on Christmas Eve, prompting RCMP to visit a homeless shelter to warn people of the dangers. 

Vern Knot, 46, stays at the Ketso Yoh homeless shelter in downtown Prince George and is also blaming the overdoses on drug dealers diluting heroin with Fentanyl.

"I value my life, I'm not just going to throw it away for a high," said Knot, who says he uses crack, but avoids heroin and Fentanyl. 

Knot nearly lost a friend because of an overdose last week.

"One of my bros just OD'd last week, they got him to the hospital in time," he said, but one of his friends in Vancouver did not get help in time.

"I just lost one of my street sisters. She got out of a treatment, she got a whack, she passed away," he said.

He says his friend was one of the four deaths that happened around Dec 23 in Vancouver.


To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled Fentanyl suspected as drug overdoses spike in Prince George on the CBC's Daybreak North.

With files from Betsy Trumpener

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.