Fentanyl has been linked to hundreds of deaths in B.C.

Fentanyl has been linked to hundreds of deaths in B.C.

Fentanyl linked to two overdose deaths in White Rock

Police say fentanyl has been confirmed in one man's death and is suspected in another

Two overdose deaths occurred in White Rock this weekend, and police say one is confirmed connected to the deadly narcotic fentanyl.

Staff Sgt. Daryl Creighton said Monday that both victims were men.

The first died shortly before 11 a.m. on Saturday. Creighton told Peace Arch News that a surviving user told police the pair believed the substance they were taking was a combination of heroin and cocaine.

The second man – described as a suspected heroin user – died early Monday morning, and fentanyl is suspected, Creighton said.

BC Coroners Service spokesperson Barb McLintock said test results have not yet confirmed fentanyl.

“We don’t have any toxicology reports back yet and are unwilling to confirm anything until we do as preliminary information is too often wrong,” McLintock said by email shortly after noon.

According to recent coroners-service statistics, there were 622 illicit-drug overdose deaths in B.C. between January and the end of October. More than half have been linked to fentanyl – a synthetic opioid described at a recent community forum in Delta as 100 times more powerful than morphine.

A multi-prong response strategy has been underway since the province declared a public health emergency in April and created a dedicated task force in July.

Efforts include making naloxone much more widely available to reverse overdoses in progress.