March 2nd, 2015
According to the BC Coroners Service, the number of illicit drug deaths where fentanyl has been detected increased from 5% in 2012 to over 25% in 2014. As many cases are stil under investigation, it is not possible to conclude whether fentanyl is a cause or contributory factor in these deaths.
Concerned with this trend, BC's public health and law enforcement agencies have partnered to lauch Know Your Source, a public safety campaign aimed at raising awareness of toxicity of illicitly produced fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid roughly 50-80 times more toxic than morphine and primarily prescribed to treat severe pain. However, illicitly produced fentanyl is being mixed into many street drugs & sold as pills or powders.