Unknown green opiate causes 7 overdoses in Vancouver

Health authority warns users not to do drugs alone

Vancouver Coastal Health is asking drug users to be on alert after an especially toxic opiate caused seven people to overdose at a supervised consumption site.

Staff received reports of “similar and unusual symptoms” connected to a “green-coloured opiate” at the Maple Overdose Prevention site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Tuesday night, said spokesperson Tiffany Akins.

READ: B.C. hits record number of illicit drug overdose deaths: coroner

Seven people were said to have shown signs of muscle rigidity and “pinned,” or constricted, pupils.

“We used our new radar warning system and sent an alert out to relevant service providers,” said Akins. You can sign up for these alerts by “alert” to 236-999-3673.

She said the drug might not necessarily be new or unusual, but the health authority doesn’t know what it is.

“People don’t check their drugs [before they use],” she said. “We only know what they think that they bought.”

Because drugs are often bought and used in small quantities, Akins said, Vancouver Coastal Health can’t send anything to a lab for testing.

“All we know is that it was a more toxic substance than we usually see,” she said.

Fraser Health confirmed that they have not had any reported cases of the unknown green opiate at either one of their supervised consumption sites.

All seven people were revived, likely, Akins said, because they were not using alone.

“That’s what these overdose prevention sites are for. They save lives,” she said. “Who knows what would have happened if they were using alone.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Around the BCHL: Merritt, Chilliwack and Coquitlam early-season surprises

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s going on in the league and throughout the junior A world.

Chilliwack ready for legalization with zoning and business bylaw changes

Cannabis retailers in Chilliwack will have to rezone property to open a storefront

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in Chilliwack schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

About 400 lined up for lunch and community connections in Chilliwack

Chilliwack organizer calls Winter Warm-Up 2018 a ‘wonderful collaboration’

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to dominate North American marijuana industry

Cannabis producers claim the U.S. is “rapidly losing” its competitive advantage to Canada

Battle resumes over speculation tax on B.C. vacant homes

Opposition calls it ‘fake’ tax that is reducing housing supply

Most Read