British Columbia

Surrey RCMP warn parents to watch for fentanyl use over Christmas holidays

An unusual pre-Christmas warning has been issued to the families of recreational drug users by Mounties in Surrey, B.C., after several suspected fentanyl overdoses.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and may be mixed with other drugs, say police

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine, and may be mixed with other drugs without the user knowing, say police. (ALERT)

An unusual pre-Christmas warning has been issued to the families of recreational drug users by Mounties in Surrey, B.C., after several suspected fentanyl overdoses.

Police say the respiratory depressant is 50 to 100 times more toxic than morphine and is being cut into other illegal drugs.

The death of a Surrey woman on Tuesday morning was just the latest in a series of overdoses that Mounties suspect are linked to the drug.

Chief Supt. Bill Fordy of the Surrey RCMP is asking parents to keep an eye on young adult children who may consume illicit drugs and will be returning home for the holidays.

"The types and quantities of recreational drugs that some people may have considered 'safe' are now laced with dangerous cutting and mixing agents, including fentanyl, that have the ability to seriously harm or even kill," Fordy said in a written statement.

Dr. Marcus Lem of the Fraser Health authority says people who use illegal drugs should not mix them with alcohol and should be accompanied by a sober buddy who can call for help if needed.

Early symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include severe sleepiness, a slow heartbeat, difficult breathing, cold and clammy skin and trouble walking or talking.

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